Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Arts and Sciences


Hispanic Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Susan Carvalho


Locational memory, which relies upon our natural inclination to store and recall images, adds spatial orientation to a narrative, and provides an accessible framework for the recreation of the past in first-person narrative. The power of locational imagery as a device of memory is both historically and scientifically supported. It is essential to the system of artificial memory that the ancient Greeks called a memory palace, described by both Mary Carruthers and Paul Ricouer. Scientifically, studies show that the strongest autobiographical memories are based on visual imagery and that recall of specific locations provides a cognitive basis for the recreation of episodic memory.

The mapping of memory is of particular interest in Latino narratives because they often involve repeated border crossings and the conveyance of memories from on geographical context to another. The shifting of spatial context opens new perspectives on and new interpretations of those memories. This dissertation is an examination of the first person works of three U.S. Latino writers: Judith Cofer, Junot Diaz, and Sandra Cisneros. Memory mapping reveals how the intersectionality of race, class, and gender are reflected in the spaces the characters inhabit and how they interact within them, both in the diegetic present and in the remembered/recreated past.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)