"Hag(e)ografía. Propaganda ideológica y política geográfica en los
discursos hagiográficos peninsulares. La construcción de la nación
española (siglos XIII a XVII).
Defended: June 2012, The University of Kansas
Abstract: This dissertation explores two thirteenth century hagiographic poems by Gonzalo de Berceo, Vida de San Millán de la Cogolla and Vida de Santo Domingo de Silos, and two seventeenth century hagiographic comedias by Lope de Vega, El santo negro Rosambuco de la ciudad de Palermo and San Diego de Alcalá. I call these works ‘hag(e)ographies’, a term that I propose in order to highlight the underlying geo-political and propagandistic agenda that is explicitly conveyed in the Spanish representations of the lives of saints. I argue that these Medieval and Early-Modern Spanish written hagiographies were not only artistic representations conceived by committed religious followers with the purpose of commemorating the lives of holy historic/legendary figures, but rather, that these productions were strategic tools used to spread ideological propagandas, constantly (re)produced, or rather ‘tradapted (re)creatively’, with the intention of facilitating the geo-political expansion of the hegemonic (Castilian, Christian and Catholic) powers, towards the (re)construction of a Mater Hispania lost to the Muslims in 711, and thus, the (re)creation of the Spanish nation as we know it today. My literary analyses call upon a diverse body of contemporary hagiographical cultural productions and artifacts (i.e. paintings, sculptures, and altar pieces, rituals, performances and celebrations), in an effort to bolster my thesis and effectively situate the literature within its historical, political and cultural context of production.
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