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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Mis(s) education : locating female subjectivity and resistance in the Spanish university

  • Author(s): Birmingham, Amanda
  • et al.

This project uses Althusserian concepts of interpellation and subject formation with Foucaultian notions of power and discourse to explore the university space under the Francoist regime as represented in three novels by Spanish women writers; Nada by Carmen Laforet (1945), Julia by Ana Maria Moix (1968) and El mismo mar de todos los veranos by Esther Tusquets (1978). By taking up the case of female protagonists who bring their search for identity to the university, I argue that the scholar identity serves as a site of resistance to the ideological hold of the state, where through a subversive learning process under a female pedagogue, the university experience serves as a public framework by which the protagonists produce knowledge of the exploitative power relations governing women's social position. Analysis of these literary works shows the process of performing the female scholar identity as one rupturing the hegemonic status of National-Catholic ideology by facilitating the protagonists' unlearning of themselves as the means of reproduction in service to the modern state. These findings also identify patriarchal morality and classist restrictions on women as interrelated factors in the subjugation of women

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