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Women and Print Culture in Post-Independence Buenos Aires

Women and Print Culture in Post-Independence Buenos Aires

Series: Monografías A
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 224
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  • Book Info
    Women and Print Culture in Post-Independence Buenos Aires
    Book Description:

    The woman question was a subject of discussion in post-independence Buenos Aires, reflected in the press and in the book world where writers contemplated the nature, role and status of women, linking the subject to topics such as political transition, reform, modernisation, regional conflict and patriotic culture. This examination of a varied body of works dating from the 1820s, consisting of pamphlets, a history book, conduct literature and periodical literature, demonstrates the impact of transatlantic print networks such as the book trade, and translations from Britain, France, and Spain. Developing our understanding of the post-independence cultural landscape, the study investigates a hitherto unexamined debate that was at the heart of state building in Buenos Aires. It simultaneously challenges traditional male-centred accounts of the period and serves as a counterpoint to historic feminist approaches to print culture. IONA MACINTYRE lectures in Hispanic Studies at the University of Edinburgh.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-809-4
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-vii)
    (pp. viii-viii)
    (pp. 1-22)

    This book examines the debate on the status of women which appeared in the medium of print in the city of Buenos Aires after independence from Spain in 1810. Concentrating on six texts published between 1820 and 1830, this study seeks to incorporate the ‘woman question’ into discussion of early Argentine history.

    The first text studied here,Defensa del bello sexo, was translated by language teacher and translator José Antonio Cantillon in 1820. The second and third are two satirical pamphlets by the Franciscan brother Francisco de Paula de Castañeda:Doña María RetazosandLa Matrona Comentadora, both published from...

  6. 1 Post-Independence Transformation in Buenos Aires
    (pp. 23-58)

    The 1820s marked the second decade of revolutionary change in Buenos Aires. With modified and disputed expectations and demands for men and women, the decade was characterised by the rapid transformation of society and culture. The texts which are the subject of this study exemplify these cultural processes in that they engage with the issues of political and social reform, foreign influences (in particular British influences), and, most importantly, the relationship between the personal conduct of women, both in public and in private, and emerging national culture. This chapter will explore how the revolutionary project fostered modernity in several areas...

  7. 2 Defensa del bello sexo
    (pp. 59-82)

    In 1820 the bookDefensa del bello sexo: caracteres de la historia, genio, disposición, méritos, ocupaciones, costumbres, e importancia, del bello sexo en todas las partes del mundo, interpolados con muchas anécdotas singulares y divertidas. Traducidos, aumentados y coordinados para nuestras lectoras americanas. Por Don José Antonio Cantillon Profesor de idiomas en Buenos Aireswas printed at the city’s Imprenta de los Expósitos. Although Cantillon claimed to have developed and compiled the work, the book is in fact a direct, yet partial, translation of an English text entitledWoman. Sketches of the History, Genius, Disposition, Accomplishments, Employments, Customs and Importance...

  8. 3 Doña María Retazos and La Matrona Comentadora
    (pp. 83-112)

    Unlike the other authors discussed here, the Franciscan friar Francisco de Paula Castañeda (1776–1832) is remembered in Argentine independence history. The ‘sacerdote, periodista, polemista’ was a colourful character whose independent critical voice thunders out from the many satirical pamphlets he published.² Yet little in-depth literary research has been undertaken on his writings. Existing textual studies, such as those by Josefina Ludmer (2000) and Nicolás Lucero (2003), regard and discuss Castañeda’s literary style as a precursor to gaucho literature.³ Other critics have noted Castañeda’s foregrounding of women’s voices: ‘Cada periódico suyo es una casa de fantasmas. Fantasmas casi invariablemente, del...

  9. 4 Cartas sobre la educación del bello sexo por una señora americana
    (pp. 113-138)

    Cartas sobre la educación del bello sexo por una señora americana(1824) was one of many educational texts produced in London for export to the Spanish American republics by the Anglo-German publisher Rudolph Ackermann, using the printer Charles Wood.² An anonymous conduct book for women in epistolary form,Cartaswas written to educate the girls and women of independent Spanish America. It was particularly targeted at a Buenos Aires readership and bore a dedication to the city’s women’s organisation the Sociedad de Beneficencia (described in Chapter 1). Documents relating to the Society were reproduced in the text’s appendix and copies...

  10. 5 La Argentina
    (pp. 139-165)

    In his bookPeriodismo y feminismo en la Argentina:1830–1930 (1988), Néstor Tomás Auza writes, ‘la historia del periodismo que denominamos femenino se inicia con un fraude periodístico’.² The ‘hoax’ in question is the periodical publicationLa Argentina(1830–31), whose anonymous editor was identified by bibliographer Antonio Zinny as Manuel de Irigoyen.³La Argentinawas Buenos Aires’s first periodical that claimed to be written and edited for, and indeed by, women (‘las editoras’). The journal was printed on Sundays in the Imprenta Republicana (except for the last issue, which was printed at the Imprenta del Estado), and cost...

  11. 6 La Aljaba
    (pp. 166-191)

    La Aljabawas a four-page periodical published on Tuesdays and Fridays at the Buenos Aires Imprenta del Estado from 16 November 1830 to 14 January 1831, amounting to eighteen numbers in total. Each number cost three reales, or three pesos for a monthly subscription. The single-sheet prospectus is undated. The periodical was patriotic, ‘dedicada al bello sexo Argentino’ as its subtitle ran, and contained serialised essays on women’s conduct and education, national organisation, and poetry. Signed anonymously by ‘la editora’, it has been attributed to the Montevidean writer and poet Petrona Rosende de Sierra and is therefore believed to have...

    (pp. 192-199)

    This study has identified and explored the public debate on the social position of women that appeared in 1820s Buenos Aires. As discussed in the introductory chapter, the consideration of the nature of women and their proper role in society, sometimes retrospectively termed ‘the woman question’, is a long-standing tradition in European print culture which became prominent during the Enlightenment. In Buenos Aires, views on the subject were expressed publicly from the inception of the city’s press in 1801, in the form of letters to the editor ofLa Gaceta Mercantil, and the issue continued to be raised in the...

    (pp. 200-214)
  14. INDEX
    (pp. 215-216)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 217-217)