0122. SPANISH AMERICAN WOMEN WRITERS, PART I: Out of the Kitchen into the Mainstream

1:30 - 3:30 pm Wednesdays, January 22 - February 5

3 Sessions
Fee: $90.00
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SPANISH AMERICAN WOMEN WRITERS, PART I: Out of the Kitchen into the Mainstream

This course is an introduction to the writings (in English) of two major female authors who
achieved success despite the obstacles they faced living in a patriarchal culture that sought
to undermine them. We will start with excerpts from Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own,
which serves as a point of departure for its discussion of the essentials that women need in
order to create. Our first author, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, is the great 17th Century Mexican
poet who was forced to justify to her superiors her own as well as other women’s right to
study in her autobiographical letter, Answer to Sor Filotea de la Cruz. Sor Juana’s life and
letters represent the intellectual and moral inspiration to all the Latin American women
writers who followed her. Rosario Castellanos is a major author of 20th Century Mexico
whose poetry and fiction follow in the footsteps of both Virginia Woolf and Sor Juana
through her daring and brilliant works that fiercely criticize Mexican society for treating
women as the other. We will read several of her poems, a short story and a play.
(PLEASE NOTE: For this Part I course, many of the readings are provided to you via handout
which the lecturer has asked to have mailed prior to the start of class; only ONE book, listed
below with the ISBN number, is to be either purchased or borrowed from a library.)

READINGS Excerpts from: A Room of One’s Own (Forward by Mary Gordon); “Some Obscure Points in the
Life of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz” (Dorothy Schons, background article); “Foolish Men” (poem 92) and
Answer to Sor Filotea de la Cruz; Poems: “Self-Portrait,” “Home Economics,” “Meditation on the Brink,”
“Kinsey Report”; Short Story: “Cooking Lesson”; Play: The Eternal Feminine.
REQUIRED TEXT Readings from: A Rosario Castellanos Reader: University of Texas Press: ISBN
0-292-77036-7 (paperback)

About The Lecturer

Erica Frouman-Smith

Erica Frouman-Smith is Associate Professor of Spanish and Spanish American literature with a
specialization in contemporary Spanish American women writers. She has published numerous scholarly
articles, personal interviews with women writers from Mexico and Argentina, translations from Spanish
to English of short stories and essays, as well as a book-length translation of a scholarly study on the
Spanish poet and playwright, Federico García Lorca.