Spanish Women's Studies

By Guy, Melissa | Feminist Collections: A Quarterly of Women's Studies Resources, Winter 2013 | Go to article overview

Spanish Women's Studies


Guy, Melissa, Feminist Collections: A Quarterly of Women's Studies Resources


Xon de Ros & Geraldine Hazbun, eds., A COMPANION TO SPANISH WOMEN'S STUDIES. Rochester, NY: Tamesis, 2011. 430p. illus. bib., index. $115.00, ISBN 978-1855662247.

As the editors of this volume note, much work has been done since Beth Miller published Women in Hispanic Literature: Icons and Fallen Idols (1978) and challenged her Hispanist colleagues to pursue women's studies. The solid introduction to A Companion to Spanish Women's Studies places this anthology in the context of that earlier scholarship. Readers unfamiliar with the history of women's studies will appreciate the concise summary of the field and of Hispanic women's studies within it.

The book's twenty-one chapters are organized chronologically from the Middle Ages to the present, and are divided into two parts: Part I covers the medieval and early modern periods; Part II, the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries.

The editors admit that comprehensive coverage is impossible, so they chose to focus on "literary criticism, ... historical analysis, sociological investigation, and interdisciplinary exploration" (p. 4), while allowing the contributing authors to write on the topics of their choice. Each chapter addresses feminist theory in some way "while discussing either the work of women or the representation of women" (p. 4).

Individual chapters in the medieval section focus on the role of women in lyrical poetry, the depiction of women in medieval Spanish hagiography, and representations of women as characters in exemplary tales. Additional chapters present analyses of the writings of Leonor Lopez de Cordoba, Costanza de Castilla, Teresa de Cartagena, and Isabel de Villena, as well as women authors of the Siglo de Oro, or Spanish Golden Age. …

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