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Author ORCID Identifier


Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Hispanic Literatures & Linguistics

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Luis Marentes

Second Advisor

Roberto Márquez

Third Advisor

Barbara Zecchi

Subject Categories

Caribbean Languages and Societies | Latin American Literature | Latina/o Studies


In this dissertation, I track the political emotions present in Abeng by Jamaican Michelle Cliff and Balún Canán by Mexican Rosario Castellanos in order to identify the personal notions of justice held by each of the protagonists. Their personal definitions of justice are tangible in the protagonists' actions and the narrators' tone and decisions. In this research, I engage in a close reading analysis of the emotional legacies that each girl-protagonists accept or reject from the adults around them, their friends, and fiction. I use a theoretical framework based on affect theory (specifically political emotions) and concepts from moral philosophy (e.g. reification, recognition, and epistemic justice), in order to question the conceptualization of the traditional and feminine Bildungsroman. By comparing a book written in English (Abeng) with one written in Spanish (Balún Canán), I advance an understanding of Latin America as a political identity shaped by a shared experience of postcoloniality, which goes beyond language barriers.


Available for download on Saturday, February 01, 2025