Article

Women in Modern Latin American History

Elizabeth Quay Hutchison

in Latin American Studies

ISBN: 9780199766581
Published online October 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199766581-0045
Women in Modern Latin American History

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Sources for the study of the history of women in Latin America’s national period grew exponentially in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, both in the English-speaking world and, to a lesser extent, in Latin America itself. Fueled by women’s movements and the growing presence of female scholars in the humanities and social sciences in the 1960s, early research on Latin American women focused on women, religion, and the family in colonial period—partly in a search for the “origins” of gender inequalities evident in the present day. Studies of women in the national period, by contrast, emphasized women’s participation in family, economy, and politics, documenting women’s contributions to social change in Latin America and the Caribbean, particularly in the arenas of female employment, education, and suffrage. At the height of the cold war, scholarly attention focused predictably on women’s (and feminists’) extraordinary presence in antiauthoritarian struggles and the promise of socialist revolutions for greater gender equality, generating considerable interest in questions of gender identity and state–society relations in the process of state formation and national development. Finally, a wave of North American scholarship inspired by the questions and methods linked to gender analysis in the 1990s made the study of women and gender an intrinsic part of broader historiographical concerns with Latin American economic, political, and cultural development in the national period. One result of this development is that works not centrally concerned with “women’s history” regularly incorporate women as historical subjects and consider the importance of gender relations to the broader topic under examination, often in research ranging from US–Latin American relations and the history of medicine to agricultural production and historical memory. Women’s history has, in this respect, become ubiquitous, particularly in the English-language scholarship on modern Latin America. This North–South imbalance, as well as the greater distribution of English-language compared to Latin American publications, is certainly reflected in this bibliography, which privileges research by US scholars. This selection also documents the relatively lesser attention scholars have granted to the relationship between gender and racial/ethnic hierarchies as well as female religious identity and participation in the modern period. This bibliography nevertheless builds on this rapid and diverse historiographical development to offer a selection of significant historical works for the study of Latin American women after independence.

Article.  14031 words. 

Subjects: Regional and Area Studies ; History of the Americas

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