Gender History in Latin America

Universidad de Belgrano

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Gender History in Latin America

  • Host University

    Universidad de Belgrano

  • Location

    Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • Area of Study

    Gender Studies, Latin American Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Description:
    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


    Course Description

    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.


    Course Requirements

    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.


    Grading Policy

    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


    Class schedule
    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,
    pp. 1-4
    Week 2 (August 3 and 5)
    Contact. The conquest. Mestizaje or race mixture. The racialization of

    Required readings:
    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

    Recommended readings:
    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

    Required readings:
    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

    Recommended readings:
    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.

    Required readings
    Twinam, Ann, Precedents and Mothers: Pregnant virgins, abandoned
    women and the public and private price of sexuality, pp. 35-55
    and 59-88
    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

    Recommended readings:
    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.

    Required readings:
    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

    Recommended readings:
    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.

    Required readings:
    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

    Recommended readings:
    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

    Required readings:
    Francesca Miller, Women and Education, pp. 35-67
    Dorothea Scott Whitten, Arts of Amazonian and Andean Women, pp.

    Recommended readings:
    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:
    prostitution, homosexuality.

    Required readings:
    Lavrin, Feminism and sexuality: An uneasy relationship, pp.125-158
    Luisa Gonzalez, Women of the barrio, pp. 102-108

    Recommended readings:
    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.

    Required readings:
    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
    Recommended readings:
    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.

    Required readings:
    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

    Recommended readings:
    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

    Required readings:
    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

    Recommended readings:
    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.

    Required readings:
    Buck, Sarah A. ?New Perspectives on Female Suffrage,? pp. 1-16
    Eva Peron, Peronist Feminism, pp. 219-222

    Recommended readings:
    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.

    Required readings:
    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

    Recommended readings:
    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.

    Required readings:
    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

    Recommended readings:
    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

    Final exam

    Required reading:
    Francesca Miller, Conclusion, pp. 239-250

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.