Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2014

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Merino, Ana

First Committee Member

Creekmur, Corey

Second Committee Member

Martín-Estudillo, Luis

Third Committee Member

Rodríguez-Rodríguez, Ana M

Fourth Committee Member

Williams, Rachel


This dissertation examines constructions of femininity in three male-authored Latin/o American comics: Gabriel Vargas' La Familia Burrón (Mexico, 1948-2009), Quino's Mafalda (Argentina, 1964-1973), and Love and Rockets (Los Bros. Hernandez, 1981-1996; 2000-present). After first establishing an analytical context from which to explore these works, discussing contemporary trends in national comics production as well as the ways in which femininity has been prescriptively constructed in each particular time and place, I then analyze the ways in which each author questions, challenges, and/or completely reconstructs their own version of "graphic femininity." As the following chapters will show, each articulation of femininity as constructed within the three serial comics under examination here takes different forms in each comic under analysis; while female characters in one title might embody a socially idealized model of femininity such as the "angel in the house," or the cult of "true womanhood", characters in other comics (or even within the same title) might play inverse roles, defying the mandates of the role assigned to them by contemporary society and ideological institutions such as compulsory heterosexuality or patriarchal power. A variety of models of feminine behavior and subjectivity are present in the panels of these comics, but in contrast with other contemporary constructions of femininity in cultural texts, products and sociopolitical discourse, they are presented critically rather than prescriptively, depicted in ways that disrupt the limits of femininity as it has traditionally been construed and, in some cases, offer visions of alternative, liberating paths.


comics, domesticity, femininity, gender, Latin American, Latino


xiii, 334 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 324-334).


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Copyright © 2014 Brittany Nicole Tullis