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Author ORCID Identifier


Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Hispanic Literatures & Linguistics

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Barbara Zecchi

Second Advisor

Helen Freear-Papio

Third Advisor

Guillem Molla

Subject Categories

Other Film and Media Studies | Other Languages, Societies, and Cultures | Spanish Literature | Women's Studies


Within the context of Franco Spain, academic scholarship has proven that the regime manipulated collective history via both active remembering and active forgetting in order to construct legitimacy and a national identity. Moreover, much of the regime’s mythology was based on predetermined concepts of gender difference that was exacerbated by the influence of the Catholic church. In this way, what it meant to be female during the Franco dictatorship was a large part of what came to be the nationalized-gender-mythology of the regime, or rather – myths that constructed the Franco-female. On the one hand, the regime constructed mythology that actively forget Red female heritage through brutal sociological as well as physical repression that was targeted specifically towards women. On the other hand, the regime enacted mythology of active remembering that canonized popular imagery and history in order to reconstruct a type of womanhood that lay between the crossroads of the golden age of the Spanish empire and Catholicism. Although my analysis does not in any way suggest that the female experience is ever singular, it is clear that regardless of whether or not ones actions were inherently in defiance of or in accordance with the myths of femininity propagated by the regime, it cannot be discounted that the dichotomy between what was acceptable or unacceptable behavior defined female existence, or at the very least the performance of femininity. Surrogate histories are cultural products, authored by women, that implement narratorial and performative strategies of surrogacy in order to define and recognize gender-specific traumas incurred during the Franco dictatorship in Spain. These traumas are constructed via the use of site-specific histories that deal directly with the nationalized-gender-mythology of the Franco regime. By appropriating and textually deconstructing the same myths that were used during the dictatorship to both define and limit femininity in the service of nationhood, these cultural products succeed in (de)mythifying what I have called the Franco-female.Through the (de)mythification process, surrogate histories create a path that highlights the ways in which much of the nationalized-gender-mythology has outlasted the dictatorship as well as the Transition, and thus problematizes the systemic gender violence that plagues contemporary Spanish society.