Publication Date




Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Modern Languages and Literatures (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Elena Grau-Lleveria

Second Committee Member

B. Christine Arce

Third Committee Member

Steven F. Butterman

Fourth Committee Member

Christina Lane


This dissertation examines Brianda Domecq’s new historical novel La insólita historia de la Santa de Cabora (1990), Carmen Boullosa’s origin novel Duerme (1994), and Carlos Reygadas’s auteur film Japón (2002), and studies the way these texts rearticulate Mexican history and Mexicanidad. These works reload Mexico’s history and understanding of what is to be Mexican by intersecting fiction with the historical and literary archive and by positioning marginal figures in leading roles. I define the term reload as an intentional postmodern objective in which historical constructions of the past are continually updated; to reload does not mean to deconstruct or to reconstruct but to expose the gaps and silences and to include the paradoxical and the simultaneous multiplicities of marginal individuals (women, mestizo and indigenous people) that have defined Mexico’s historical and literary trajectory. It is through the disarticulation of hegemonic representations of marginal beings that the texts studied in this dissertation challenge the twentieth century project of imposing a very specific type of Mexicanidad. The novels and film emphasize and make visible, that is, bring to the forefront the manifold juxtapositions that inform Mexico’s history from the colonial period, the pre-Revolutionary era, the Post-Boom literary decades, to the 21st century.


Postmodern reloading of historical and literary archive; Mexicanidad; Colonial Mexico; pre-Revolutionary Mexico; 20th and 21st Century Mexican literature and film; Brianda Domecq; Carmen Boullosa; Carlos Reygadas; Post-Boom Feminist Literary Perspectives; women, mestizo, and indigenous historical figures

Available for download on Monday, August 09, 2021