Gender History in Latin America
Universidad de Belgrano
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Area of Study
Gender Studies, Latin American Studies
Taught In English
Course Level Recommendations
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Recommended U.S. Semester Credits3
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units5
Hours & Credits
This course approaches Argentine cultural history through a close reading of novels and short stories. A major theme of the course is how the notion of civilization that guided nation-building narratives in the nineteenth century remained central to twentieth century fiction. The impact of immigration policies, the rise and fall of Peronism, Eva Peron?s political and cultural legacy, the Dirty War and the role of fiction in shaping social memory are just some of the topics that are considered. By the end of the course, students will have a general picture of the historical and cultural contexts in which Argentine fiction has been produced and an understanding of the close links between this country?s history, politics and literature.
(PALAS 380) Gender in Latin America
Professor Ma. Patricia Anderson
Program in Argentine and Latin American Studies
Universidad de Belgrano
Instruction in English
The course will provide a brief introduction to the history of gender in
Latin America by focusing on the multiple manners in which womanhood
has been constructed and experienced from the Conquest up to the
twentieth century. Placing a special emphasis on how categories such as
racial origins and social class have mediated and defined their
experiences, the course will explore some of the differences between
women as well as their attempts to bridge these differences. We will
examine a variety of issues such as labour and family relations,
sexuality, religion, education, and the evolution of political and civil
rights in order to demonstrate that women have actively participated in
and shaped their own historical destinies. By using a variety of primary
sources the course will seek to explore and understand some of the
challenges that women have faced over time and the manners in which
they have actively contributed to Latin American history.
Each class will consist of two sections. During the first, the instructor will
provide a brief historical background of the weekly topics. During the
second, students will engage in active participation by discussing and
evaluating the weekly readings. In addition, each week a small group of
students will prepare a short oral presentation and a brief written
summary on one of the recommended readings. The requirements also
include a midterm and final exam, as well as class attendance.
Class attendance and participation: 15%
Oral presentation: 20%
Mid-term essay: 35%
Final exam: 30%
Required Textbooks and Materials:
Patricia Anderson (ed.), Course Reader
Patricia Anderson (comp.), Primary sources for gender history
Week 1 (July 27 and 29)
Introduction. Gender history. Objectives, subjects, relevance
Joan Scott, ?Gender, a useful category of analysis,? pp. 1053-1075
Susan Socolow, Introduction, in The Women of Colonial Latin America,
Week 2 (August 3 and 5)
Contact. The conquest. Mestizaje or race mixture. The racialization of
Laura A. Lewis, ?The 'Weakness' of Women and the feminization of the
Indian in colonial Mexico ,? pp. 73-94
Catalina de Erauso, The Nun Ensign Isabel Guevara, ?The men became so weak that all the tasks fell on the
poor women,? pp. 133-135
Ruy Diaz de Guzman, Women Captives, pp.30-33
Jose Barreiro, Survival Stories, pp. 28-38
Susan Kellogg, ?Depicting Mestizaje: Gendered Images of Ethnorace in
Colonial Mexican Texts,? pp. 69-92
Irene Silverblatt, Moon, Sun, Witches, pp. 36-49
Week 3 (August 10 and 12)
Religion. Catholicism, indigenous beliefs, and alternative religious
practices. Convents and the religious life. The Inquisition in the
Behar Ruth, ?Sexual Witchcraft, Colonialism, and Women?s Powers:
Views from the Mexican Inquisition,? pp. 178-206
Ricardo Fernandez Guardia, Brotherhood of the Virgin, pp. 31-34
Olga Portuondo Zuñiga, The Virgin of Cobre, Cuba?s Patron Saint, pp.
Juana Ines de la Cruz, On Men?s Hypocrisy, pp. 156-159
James M. Córdova, ?Aztec Vestal Virgins and the Brides of Christ: The
Mixed Heritage of New Spain's Monjas Coronadas?, pp. 189-218
Burns, Kathryn, ?Nuns, kurakas, and credit: The spiritual economy of
seventeenth-century Cuzco,? pp. 185-203
Week 4 (August 17 and 19)
Women and Patriarchy. Family structure. Marriage and motherhood.
Civil and political rights during colonial times.
Twinam, Ann, Precedents and Mothers: Pregnant virgins, abandoned
women and the public and private price of sexuality, pp. 35-55
Flora Tristan, Women of Lima, pp. 207-214
Juana Manuela Gorriti, Women in the Fatherland, pp. 73-4
Mariquita Sanchez de Thompson, The First British Invasion, pp. 40-2
Joan Meznar, Carlota Lucia de Brito: Women, Power, and Politics in
Northeast Brazil, pp. 41-52
Boyer, Richard, Women, La Mala Vida and Politics of Marriage, pp. 252-
Week 5 (August 24 and 26)
Private and public spheres. The family home and the streets. Urban
and rural life. Entertainment. Female labour during colonial times.
Lauderdale Graham, Sandra, Private Lives in Public Spaces, pp. 59-88
Frances Calderon de la Barca, Women and War in Mexico, pp. 197-205
Mary Weismantel, Cities of Women, pp. 359-370
Evelyn M. Cherpak, ?Reminiscences of Brazilian Life, 1834-1848,
Selections from the Diary of Mary Robinson Hunter,? pp. 69-76
Arnold Bauer, Civilizing Goods, pp. 85-128
Week 6 (August 31 and Sept. 2)
Slavery and Domination. Women?s differing worlds: slaves, servants,
and elite women. Challenges and resistance.
Lauderdale Graham, Sandra, The Work in House and street, pp. 31-58
Frances Calderon de la Barca, Life in Mexico
Cirilo Villaverde, Cecilia Valdes, pp. 97-102
Robert Walsh, Life on a Slave Ship, pp. 136-143
Bush, Barbara, ''Daughters of injur'd Africk': African women and the
transatlantic slave trade,? pp. 673-698
Maria Eugenia Chaves, Slave Women Strategies for Freedom in the Late
Spanish Colonial State, pp.108-126
Week 7 (Sept. 7 and 9)
The Arts and Sciences. Female education in the 19th and 20th
centuries. Women in the sciences and in the arts. Higienismo.
Mid term essay due
Francesca Miller, Women and Education, pp. 35-67
Dorothea Scott Whitten, Arts of Amazonian and Andean Women, pp.
Donna Guy, Gabriela and Emilio Coni, pp. 77-92
Jocelyn Olcott, "Take off that streetwalker's dress": Concha Michel and
the Cultural Politics of Gender in Post revolutionary Mexico, pp.
Week 8 (Sept. 14 and 16)
Sexualities. The female body in the medical discourse. Deviancy:
Lavrin, Feminism and sexuality: An uneasy relationship, pp.125-158
Luisa Gonzalez, Women of the barrio, pp. 102-108
Donna Guy, Tango, Gender, Politics, pp. 141-174
Katherine bliss, The science of redemption, Syphilis, sexual promiscuity
and Reformism in Revolutionary Mexico City,? pp. 1-40
Week 9 (Sept. 21 and 23)
Maternal Feminism. Social motherhood and feminist militancy.
Congresses, writings, criticisms.
Susan Besse, The Politics of Feminism, pp.164-198
Ofelia Dominguez Navarro, The First Wave of Cuban Feminism, pp.
Alfonsina Storni, Modern Women, pp. 254-58
Carolina Freyre de Jaimes and Violetas del Anahuac, ?Women?s reform
issues in late 19th century Peru and Mexico Reform,? pp. 210-213
Susan Besse, Pagu: Patricia Galvao ? Rebel, pp. 165-180
Shirlene Soto, The Women?s movement in Yucatan, pp. 67-96
Week 10 (Sept. 28 and 30)
Challenging Patriarchy. Women and political and social activism.
Shirlene Soto, Igniting the flames of revolution, pp. 31-65
Margaret Randall, Women of the Swamps, pp. 363-69
Jose Maria Salcedo, Simply Pascuala, pp. 477-80
Maria Lupe, Testimony of a Guatemalan Revolutionary, pp. 258-261
Andrés Reséndez Fuentes, ?Battleground Women: Soldaderas and
Female Soldiers in the Mexican Revolution,? pp. 525-553
Heidi Tinsman, Revolutionizing Women, pp. 209-246
Week 11 (Oct. 5 and 7)
Labour. White collar and industrial work. Conditions, rights and
Farnsworth Alvear, Introduction and The Making of La mujer obrera, pp.
1-35 and 73-101
Daniel James, Doña María?s Story, pp. 45-63
Barbara Weinstein, ?They don?t even look like women workers?:
Femininity and Class in Twentieth-Century Latin America,? pp.
Week 12 (Oct. 12 and 14)
Suffrage and politics. The evolution of female political rights and
suffrage in the 20th century.
Buck, Sarah A. ?New Perspectives on Female Suffrage,? pp. 1-16
Eva Peron, Peronist Feminism, pp. 219-222
Lavrin, Women?s Politics and suffrage in Chile, pp.286-320
Charity Coker Gonzalez, ?Agitating for Their Rights: The Colombian
Women's Movement, 1930-1957,? pp. 689-711
Week 13 (Oct. 19 and 21)
Ethnicity and violence. The role of ethnicity in Latin American civil
wars. The gendered consequences of violence.
Francesca Miller, National liberation, Redemocratization and
International Feminism, pp. 187-237
Maria Teresa Tula, Hear my Testimony, pp. 131-158
Carlos de la Torre, Nina Pacari, an Interview, pp. 279-83
Maria Robles Solano, Memories of Girlhood in ?48, pp. 170-74
Raquel Martin de Mejia, Women and terror, pp. 366-69
Laura Gotkowitz, Commemorating the Heroinas: Gender and Civic Ritual
in Early Twentieth Century Bolivia, pp. 215-237
Week 14 (Oct. 25 and 28)
Silent revolutions. Female organizations and silent resistance. The
Mothers of Plaza de Mayo.
Marguerite Bouvard, Introduction and The Mothers Come Together, pp.
1-17 and 65-91
Hebe de Bonafini and Matilde Sanchez, The Madwomen at the Plaza de
Mayo, pp. 429-39
Tununa Mercado, In a State of Memory, pp. 450-56
Sylvia Chant, Men in Crisis?, pp. 350-57
Norma Stoltz Chinchilla, ?Marxism, Feminism, and the Struggle for
Democracy in Latin America,? pp.291-310
Fiona Macaluay, Getting Gender on the Policy Agenda, pp. 348-367
Week 15 (Nov. 2 and 4)
Challenges and Conclusion
Francesca Miller, Conclusion, pp. 239-250