Women's Negotiations and Textual Agency in Latin America, 1500-1799  book cover
1st Edition

Women's Negotiations and Textual Agency in Latin America, 1500-1799

ISBN 9780367885342
Published December 12, 2019 by Routledge
216 Pages

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Book Description

Even though women have been historically underrepresented in official histories and literary and artistic traditions, their voices and writings can be found in abundance in the many archives of the world where they remain to be uncovered. The present volume seeks to recover women’s voices and actions while studying the mechanisms through which they authorized themselves and participated in the creation of texts and documents found in archives of colonial Latin America. Organized according to three main themes, "Censorship and the Body," "Female Authority and Legal Discourse," and "Private Lives and Public Opinions," the essays in this collection focus on women’s knowledge and the discursive traces of their daily concerns found in various colonial genres. Herein we consider women not only as agents of history, but rather as authors of written records produced either by their own hand or by means of dictations, collaborations, or rewritings of their oral renditions. Inhabiting the territories of the Iberian colonies from Peru to New Spain, the women studied in this volume come from different ethnic and social backgrounds, from African slaves to the indigenous elite and to those who arrived from Iberia and were known as "Old Christians." Finally, we have prepared this volume in hopes that the readers will find a particular appeal in archival sources, in lesser-known documents, and in the processes involved in the circulation of knowledge and print culture between the 1500s and the late 1700s.

Table of Contents


Introduction: Uncovering Women’s Colonial Archive

Mónica Díaz, and Rocío Quispe–Agnoli

Censorship and the Body

Divine Aspirations: Beatas, Writing, and the Inquisition in Late Seventeenth–Century Lima.

Stacey Schlau

Covert Afro–Catholic Agency in the Mystical Visions of Early Modern Brazil’s Rosa Maria Egipçíaca.

Rachel Spaulding

‘In So Celestial a Language’: Text as Body, Relics as Text.

Nancy E. van Deusen

Female Authority and Legal Discourse

In the Shadow of Coatlicue’s Smile: Reconstructing Indigenous Female Subjectivity in the Spanish Colonial Record.

Jeanne Gillespie

Inca Women Under Spanish Rule: Probanzas and Informaciones of the Colonial Andean Elite.

Sara Vicuña Guenguerich

The Bonds of Inheritance: Afro–Peruvian Women’s Legacies in a Slave–holding World.

Karen Graubart

Private Lives and Public Opinion

Letters from the Río de La Plata: Agency and Identity in Colonial Women’s Petitions.

Yamile Silva

Women’s Voices in Eighteenth–Century Spanish American Newspapers.

Mariselle Meléndez

List of Contributors


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Mónica Díaz is Associate professor of Hispanic Studies and History, and Director of Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies at the University of Kentucky, USA.

Rocío Quispe-Agnoli is Professor of Hispanic Studies at Michigan State University, USA.