San Francisco as countercultural citya spatial approach through literature and culture (1950-1969)

Supervised by:
  1. Carmen Méndez García Director

Defence university: Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Fecha de defensa: 28 June 2017

  1. Isabel Durán Giménez-Rico Chair
  2. Eusebio de Lorenzo Gómez Secretary
  3. Cristina Garrigós González Committee member
  4. Cristina Alsina Rísquez Committee member
  5. Jesús Benito Sánchez Committee member
  1. Estudios Ingleses: Lingüística y Literatura

Type: Thesis


This dissertation is inspired by a personal interest in an approach to the mid-20thcentury American counterculture that goes beyond the usual historical and culturalcritical perspectives. Given the frequent failure of these perspectives to address theimportance of the spatial dimension, our intention is to study the relationship betweencounterculture and urban space in the particular case of the city of San Francisco. Weargue that it is not incidental that a large number of social and cultural dissentingmovements have emerged in San Francisco over the years. The peculiar history of thecity and the energies stemming from it have fueled an intimate and long-lastingdialogue between San Francisco and the counterculture that has turned the city into ahotbed of resistance to the American status quo. Consequently, we propose an analysisof this dialogue, how it takes shape, and how it impacts both on the counterculture andthe city.With the purpose of defining a clear frame of study, the present dissertation putsthe focus on the literary and cultural representations of the 1950s and 1960scounterculture. While this phenomenon amalgamated a heterogeneous array of looselyconnected forces, it also represents a relatively cohesive ensemble within the social andcultural history of San Francisco and the United States. The significance of the midcenturycounterculture in American history lies in its being part of a critical period forthe social and economic configuration of the United States the way we know itnowadays...