Puerto Rican Women's History: New Perspectives

Puerto Rican Women's History: New Perspectives

Puerto Rican Women's History: New Perspectives

Puerto Rican Women's History: New Perspectives

Synopsis

A broad survey of topics on gender and the history of Puerto Rican women, both on the island and in the diaspora. Organized chronologically and covering the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, essays deal with issues of slavery, emancipation, wage work, women and politics, women's suffrage, industrialization, migration, and Puerto Rican women in New York. Reviewing thirty years of historiographical material, the editors and contributors provide the first comprehensive study in English of gender and the history of Puerto Rican women. It will be of interest to students and scholars of Latin American studies, Latino/a studies, Puerto Rican studies, women's studies, ethnic studies, and cultural studies.

Excerpt

The essays collected in this anthology reflect some of the new trends in historical writing regarding Puerto Rican women on the Island and in the United States. After pioneering breakthroughs in the 1970s and 1980s, it has been in the current decade that the field of Puerto Rican women's history proper has come of age. The essays collected here show not only the ongoing interest in this field but also new areas of scholarly attention and "older" ones that are being revisited.

In the 1970s Puerto Rican historians began to wonder how the stories that made up different aspects of the. Island's history would change if they were told from the perspective of women. More and more, the history of the Puerto Rican people includes the perspective of women. This has led to a revisiting and re-evaluation of many of the Island's traditional historical narratives, from the nature of Taino society in pre-Columbian times to the structure and dynamics of the labor migration into the United States in the twentieth century. More and more, too, gender and cultural studies have provoked the question of whether such a thing as a women's perspective exists, and whether it can be easily identified.

This anthology does not pretend to cover all areas or to include all the colleagues who are working in the field of Puerto Rican women's history. We wanted to include work that exemplified new research being done on neglected topics, such as prostitution and urban slavery, and in already established ones, such as the women's suffrage movement and the participation of women in the cigar-making industry. The lack of attention to certain areas and the geographical imbalance among the essays reflect more the nature of the field itself than the editors' interests and professional networks. With only one exception, all the contributors are historians. The editors also decided to keep the focus of the anthology in history, not because no excellent scholarly work is being currently . . .

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