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Forming fam(other)hood: Queer parenthood in 20th and 21st- century Spanish narrative and film

Heather Jeronimo, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This dissertation investigates non-normative parent/child relationships in contemporary Spanish literature and film through an examination of the ways in which fathers and mothers understand and negotiate their identities as parents, while also taking into account the impact of this bond on the identity of the child. The focus on non-normative parent/child relationships creates a space for dialogue about the societal and personal effects of familial difference in a hegemonic world. Topics under analysis in this dissertation include the physical and sometimes incestuous aspects of parent/child relationships, the role of literary paternity or maternity in identity formation, the effects of memory loss on parental figures, incidents of non-biological parenting, and the relationship between masculinity in crisis and parenthood. Current investigations on the family often center on the traditional family, especially the mother/child relationship. My dissertation seeks out alternative familial narratives with the aim of comparing fatherhood to motherhood, considering how these two roles do (or do not) interact with each other. This dissertation acknowledges the complex multiple identities that encompass contemporary motherhood and fatherhood, which culminates in the creation of the neologism "fam(other)hood." Following the theories of Roland Barthes, Chela Sandoval, Astrida Neimanis, and Adrienne Rich, this term describes a new understanding of parenthood that views this identity as part of a continuum, a parental fluidity that refutes strict gender and parental roles in order to permit a greater mobility within the parental role. In addition to the aforementioned scholars, the dissertation benefits from an interdisciplinary theoretical base, including a mixture of theories that provide literary, gender, queer, sociological, and psychological perspectives. Theorists incorporated in this dissertation include Nancy Chodorow, Hélène Cixous, Julia Kristeva, Jean Baudrillard, Michael Kimmel, Dimitris Vardoulakis, and Stuart Davis, among others. This dissertation includes a collection of authors of disparate ages, genders, sexualities, and ideologies, ranging from the canonical Esther Tusquets to other authors such as Mila Martínez, Lluís Maria Todó, Santi Balmes, Paloma Díaz-Mas, and Elvira Lindo.

Subject Area

Romance literature|European Studies|LGBTQ studies|Film studies

Recommended Citation

Jeronimo, Heather, "Forming fam(other)hood: Queer parenthood in 20th and 21st- century Spanish narrative and film" (2014). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3615939.