Approaches to Teaching the Works of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

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Emilie L. Bergmann, Stacey Schlau
Modern Language Association of America, 2007 - Education - 312 pages
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Sor Juana In s de la Cruz--a witty, intellectually formidable, and prolific author--stands as an icon of women's early writing and of colonial New Spain. Living in the capital city of seventeenth-century Mexico, she was located in the center of her world, but, as a self-taught, illegitimate, Creole woman and as a nun subject to the authority of male religious leaders, she was also socially marginal within that world. Like other early modern women she took up the pen to challenge gendered norms of the time. In style and content her works, which draw on baroque stylistics, classical rhetoric, and the natural sciences, are key documents in the development of Western literature.

Part 1 of this 98th volume in the Approaches to Teaching series evaluates the most useful materials among the wealth of resources available for teaching Sor Juana, reviews Spanish- and English-language editions of her work, highlights audiovisual and electronic resources for teaching, and recommends critical and historical studies of her writings and her period.

The essays in part 2, "Approaches," aim to help teachers navigate with students not only the complex networks of meaning found in Sor Juana's works but also her complicated social world. Contributors discuss gender and religion in colonial society; the element of the baroque in Sor Juana's writing; the variety of ways Sor Juana subverted generic forms to render social criticism; and the relations between her writing and the twenty-first century.

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Bergmann and Stacey Schlau
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About the author (2007)

Emilie L. Bergmann is professor of Spanish at University of California, Berkeley. She coedited Mirrors and Echoes: Women's Writing in Twentieth-Century Spain (2007) and ¿Entiendes? Queer Readings, Hispanic Writings (1995) and coauthored Women, Culture, and Politics in Latin America (1990). She has published on visual culture, gender, sexuality, and the maternal in early modern literature including the poetry of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, and on twentieth-century Spanish women's writing.

Stacey Schlau is professor of Spanish and women's studies at West Chester University. Her books include, authored with Electra Arenal, Untold Sisters: Hispanic Nuns in Their Own Works (1989); the critical edition, Viva al siglo, muerta al mundo: Obras escogidas de María de san Alberto (1568-1640); and Spanish American Women's Use of the Word: Colonial through Contemporary Narratives (2001). She has published articles on seventeenth- through twentieth-century Spanish and Spanish American women writers, especially of narrative, and is working on a book of women and the Hispanic inquisitions.

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