UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

(Pro)creación : los nuevos discursos de la maternidad en tres autoras contemporáneas Albarrán Caselles, Olga


This thesis investigates new discourses about reproduction in contemporary Spanish literature. I consider how procreation is understood in the selected texts as fully creative and not as a mere reproductive activity detached from cultural practice. I analyze the work of three women authors who explore the topic of procreation through novels, memoirs, and diaries; in them, writing about the reproductive experience is thought through the body, which ceases to be only an object and also becomes the subject that is constructed through writing. I show how, even with the liberalization of Spanish society after the dictatorship, reproduction continues to be a key part of social definitions of womanhood. Women writers are now calling for the concept’s critical re-evaluation in the light of technological change and a rethinking of some of the basic tenets of feminist thought. I bring to this research an interest in the power of language and literary texts, and the discursive construction of identity. My purpose is to show how they intend to restore the affect that such a body is capable of and produce an alternative to power. My analysis is thus focused on three works that dismantle the message that motherhood is only a private matter. They attack current hedonistic capitalism that idealizes the role of the mother while isolating women in the tasks of procreation and care, as mothers do not “have” children as another piece of property, but “bring” human beings to the world. With this project I intend to shed light on the ostracism in which procreation has remained within cultural production and, in turn, to better understand the discourses that have contributed, on the one hand, to discrediting motherhood and, on the other, to essentializing a figure that barely represents the reality for women with children. Society has naturalized what is nothing but a mere construction since procreation is not only a private or individual task, but also a political and collective activity.

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