Spanish and Portuguese ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 5-23-2017


This dissertation traces the cultural memory of three magical/religious women of the colonial period: Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, La Condesa de Malibrán and La Falsa Teresa de Jesús. It studies these icons specifically in three different discourses that construct cultural identities in Mexico: colonial discourse (XVI-XVII Centuries), the discourse of national consolidation (XIX-XX centuries) and postcolonial discourse (XX-XIX Centuries). First I describe how the narratives of the colonial period and of national consolidation employ an official lens to place magical/religious women within traditional gender roles. Then I delineate how historical novels in the 21st century employ a postcolonial lens to rewrite the colonial and foundational narratives and thus create empowered new icons of representation in cultural memory. My primary sources for studying the official discourse of the colonial period and national consolidation are colonial archives and legends; and my primary sources for studying postcolonial discourses are three historical novels: Las Mujeres de la tormenta (2012), Ángeles del abismo (2004), Yo la peor (2009), all of which revisit the colonial 16th and 17th century. This project is a multidisciplinary study that employs historical, social and literary approaches to understand the importance of recognizing and comprehending Latin America’s colonial past to interpret the present.

Degree Name

Spanish & Portuguese (PhD)

Level of Degree


Department Name

Spanish and Portuguese

First Committee Member (Chair)

Kathryn J. McKnight

Second Committee Member

Anna Nogar

Third Committee Member

Mary Quinn

Fourth Committee Member

Oswaldo Estrada




Cultural Memory, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Teresa Romero, la Condesa de Malibrán, Yo la peor, Las mujeres de la tormenta, Ángeles del abismo

Document Type