Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department

World Languages

Major Professor

Pablo Brescia, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Madeline Cámara, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sonia Wohlmuth, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Naida Saavedra, Ph.D.


fronteras, inmigración, inmigrante, lenguaje, literatura, soledad


This thesis examines how Hispanic immigrant authors in the US portray the process of identity formation in diaspora affected by the act of immigration itself through the analysis of four main themes: cultural identity, language, alienation and the immigrant's experience with borders and border culture. While Hispanic literature of immigrants has evolved over time in the United States, many of its general themes remain the same. Focusing on authors from the 19th to 21st centuries, this thesis covers 18 works ranging from novels, to essays, to poetry to short stories, all by various Hispanic authors, most of them immigrants or natives of the United States with strong Hispanic ancestry and ties to the country of origin. All these works reflect in various ways the process of identity construction in the diaspora, crossing both literal and symbolic borders while creating a double perspective on its characters. In the theme of cultural identity, the authors create a type of perspective that builds more than one national identity for their Hispanic-American characters, where the implications of how a drastic change in culture can be seen when Hispanics arrive to this country. In the theme of language, the authors describe how language affects Hispanic immigrants in the United States, since language largely affects the shaping a person's identity, demonstrating that the balance of bilingualism can fluctuate throughout life. In the theme of alienation, the authors demonstrate the effect of loneliness in the diaspora and analyze what alienates Hispanic immigrants from Americans socially in the US. In the theme of borders and border culture, the authors’ works embody the notion that the separation between “us” and “them” felt by Hispanic immigrants is a common experience.