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Women of the Iberian Atlantic

272 pages / 6.00 x 9.00 inches / no illustrations

ebook available

West European History

  Paperback / 9780807147726 / December 2012

Winner of the SSEMW Best Collaborative Project

The ten essays in this interdisciplinary collection explore the lives, places, and stories of women in the Iberian Atlantic between 1500 and 1800. Distinguished contributors such as Ida Altman, Matt D. Childs, and Allyson M. Poska utilize the complexities of gender as a touchstone to understand issues of race, class, family, health, and religious practices in the Atlantic basin. Unlike previous scholarship, which has focused primarily on upper-class and noble women, this book examines the lives of those on the periphery, including free and enslaved Africans, colonized indigenous mothers, and poor Spanish women.

Chapters range broadly across time periods and regions of the Atlantic world. The authors explore the lives of Caribbean women in the earliest era of Spanish colonization and gender norms in Spain and its far-flung colonies. They extend the boundaries of the traditional Atlantic by analyzing healing knowledge of indigenous women in Portuguese Goa and kinship bonds among women in Spanish East Texas. Together, these innovative essays rechart the Iberian Atlantic while revealing the widespread impact of women’s activities on the emergence of the Iberian Atlantic world.

Sarah E. Owens is an associate professor of Spanish at the College of Charleston. She is editor and translator of Madre María Rosa’s Journey of Five Capuchin Nuns, winner of the 2010 Josephine Roberts Prize.

Jane E. Mangan is an associate professor of history at Davidson College and the author of Trading Roles: Gender, Ethnicity, and the Urban Economy in Colonial Potosi. She is currently researching a book on the subject of family in sixteenth-century Spain and Peru.

Praise for Women of the Iberian Atlantic

“Transcending traditional dichotomies, this informative and well-conceived book offers more nuanced and complicated narratives of female experience and agency, diversity, and interconnectivity, community and diaspora, race and gender, globality and locality in this transatlantic realm.”—Sixteenth Century Journal

“This volume contributes in meaningful and substantive ways to the growing body of literature on gender relations in the Iberian Atlantic world. It features breadth of coverage by studying many regions, women of all races, and gender relations in some significant socio-economic structures (religion, family) of the Spanish and Portuguese empires. Overall, the issues of agency and power predominate. Together, the essays assert the significance of women’s actions and thought as they managed their lives in the Iberian Atlantic world.”—Journal of Early Modern History

“This volume contains a wonderful assortment of forward-looking research. . . . The work’s greatest value lies in its ability to illustrate the range of new and innovative research being conducted on women and gender in the Iberian Atlantic.”—Robert C. Schwaller, Ethnohistory

“This volume makes a useful contribution to the growing literature on gender relations in the Iberian Atlantic world. . . . Issues of agency and power predominate. Together, the essays all argue in one form or another for the significance of women’s actions and thought, as they managed their lives in the Iberian Atlantic world.”—Early Modern Women Journal

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