Between Reason and Passion

Theresa Ann Smith

in The Emerging Female Citizen

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780520245839
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932227 | DOI:
Between Reason and Passion

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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In response to the circumscribed version of female citizenship that male intellectuals advocated, an increasing number of eighteenth-century Spanish women articulated a theory of citizenship that distinguished between the sexes. This chapter investigates the work of women translators in eighteenth-century Spain and suggests how some women, in creating their own sphere of action, interpreted liberal discourse. Women's use of translation as a safer means to express their views in print evidences women's pursuit of a place in the public discourse, not dissimilar to the struggles of women writers or members of the junta de damas. However, discussion of their texts shows that some prominent translators underscored women's passion at the same time they claimed that women possessed innate reason. This method of argumentation proved an awkward fit; it undermined the attempt to make women equal citizens of a liberal state based on rational, public debate.

Keywords: Spain; women; women translators; female citizenship; intellectuals; translation; passion; reason; liberal state; public discourse

Chapter.  8416 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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