Department of Spanish, Portuguese & Latin American Studies

Contact Details

Departmental Coordinators:
Ms Alex Lopez Alvarez
Ms Clare Szembek (Mon-Wed)
tel: 020 7679 3109
ext: 33109

Head of Department:
Dr Humberto Núñez-Faraco
tel: 020 7679 4332
ext: 34332



Course unit value: 1.0
Duration: Two terms
Day and Time:  Mondays 14.00 - 16.00 
Room: to be confirmed
Tutor: Dr Claire Lindsay

Examined by 2 essays and a 3-hour examination.


This course will introduce you to a range of work by a number of women writers from Latin America. The course will begin with a consideration of the principal issues at stake in approaching the topic of women’s writing (e.g. can writing be gendered? Is there such as thing as a women’s language?), in the course of which you will be equipped with the relevant vocabulary and conceptual framework necessary for this endeavour. During the rest of the course you will study a range of work in different genres by women writers from across Latin America. Issues to be considered throughout the course in relation to the texts studied will include: questions of language, style and form; thematic concerns such as identity, family, nationhood and ‘race’; and the writers’ and works’ relationship to the literary canon and to broader historical contexts of literary production.

Primary texts

Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, Sab [1841], ed. Catherine Davies (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2001).
Rosario Ferré, Papeles de Pandora [1976] (Mexico City: Joaquin Mortiz/New York: Vintage, 2000).
Clorinda Matto de Turner, Aves sin nido [1889] (any edition).
Claudia Piñeiro, Las viudas de los jueves [2005] (Buenos Aires: Alfaguara).
Sara Sefchovich, Demasiado amor [1990] (Mexico City: Punto de lectura).
Selected short fiction and poetry by writers such as Silvina Ocampo, Alfonsina Storni, and Ana Lydia Vega will be provided.

General background reading

Helena Araújo, La scherezada criolla (Bogotá: Universidad Nacional, 1989).
Susan Bassnett, ed. Knives and Angels: Women Writers in Latin America (London: Zed, 1990).
Anny Brooksbank Jones and Catherine Davies eds. Latin American Women'sWriting: Feminist Readings in Theory and Crisis (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996).
Debra Castillo, Talking Back: Toward a Latin American Feminist Literary Criticism (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992).
Sara Castro-Klarén, Sylvia Molloy & Beatriz Sarlo, Women's Writing in Latin America: An Anthology (Boulder: Westview, 1991).
Jean Franco, Plotting Women: Gender and Representation in Mexico (London: Verso. 1989).
Magdalena García Pinto, Women Writers of Latin America: Intimate Histories, translated by Trudy Balch and Magdalena García Pinto (Austin, Tex: University of Texas Press , 1991).
Claire Lindsay, Locating Latin American Women Writers: Cristina Peri Rossi, Rosario Ferré, Albalucía Angel, and Isabel Allende (New York: Peter Lang, 2003).
Toril Moi, Sexual/Texual Politics (London: Routledge, 1985).