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Date of Award


Access Type

Campus Access

Document type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Hispanic Literatures and Linguistics

First Advisor

Luis A. Marentes

Second Advisor

Dorothy E. Mosby

Third Advisor

José N. Ornelas

Subject Categories

Latin American Literature | Latin American Studies | Other Languages, Societies, and Cultures | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies


This dissertation analyzes three novels by contemporary female Caribbean and Latin American Afro-descendent writers of the diaspora: Peruvian Lucía Charún-Illescas' Malambo (2001), Brazilian Ana Maria Gonçalves' Um defeito de cor (2006), and Puerto Rican Mayra Santos-Febres' Fe en disfraz (2009). In these texts, the old and the new intermingle in the space of the narrative. The colonial past is reexamined and reconstructed out of the need to understand its reminiscences into the present and the necessity to transform the future. These decolonial narratives of the contemporary African diaspora foster an expression of the interconnection between the two colonial spaces: where the African-descendents, especially the black female, were the objects of submission, and the present time, where the remnants of the past persist. I propose a reading of how the writers decolonize via history, memory, myth, and sex by challenging the construction of the colonial patriarchal rule and rewriting a new history to include the marginalized voices. Decolonization here implies a deconstruction of the image of colored people, especially black women in colonial time where they were deprived of their culture, personhood, and subjectivity. The writers propose a social transformation in which colonialism, racism, sexism, and classism are confronted and a new society is created, without the colonial power structure. The writers return to the roots of power and domination and examine the dynamics of the interconnection of gender, race, class, and sexuality and propose a new gender paradigm.