Author ORCID Identifier

Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Arts and Sciences


Hispanic Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Ana Rueda


This dissertation analyzes the representations of immigrants from North Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe in Spain. As engaged scholarship, it seeks to better the portrayal of immigrants in the mass media through the study of literature, film, and music about immigration spanning from the year 2000 to 2016. Because misconceptions continue to propagate in the media, this dissertation works to counteract anti-immigrant, xenophobic representations as well as balance out overly positive and orientalized portrayal of immigrants with a call to recognize immigrants as human beings who deserve the same respect, dignity, and rights as any other citizen.

Chapter 1 examines and analyzes the background to immigration in Spain by covering demographics, the mass media, and political theories related to immigration. Chapter 2 analyzes Spanish music about immigration through Richard Rorty’s social theory of ‘sentimental education’ as a meaningful way to redescribe marginalized minorities as full persons worthy of rights and dignity. Chapter 3 investigates the representation of immigrants in Spanish filmic shorts and cinema. Lastly, Chapter 4 demonstrates how literary portrayals of immigrants written by undocumented immigrants can give rise to strong characters that avoid victimization and rear empathy in their readers in order to affect a social change that minimizes cruelty.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)