Skinner, Lee. Gender and the Rhetoric of Modernity in Spanish America, 1850-1910. Tallahassee: University Press of Florida, 2016.
Abstract: Nineteenth-century Spanish American writers reimagined gender roles, modernization, and national identity during Spanish America’s uneven transition toward modernity. This ambitious volume surveys an expansive and diverse range of countries across the nineteenth-century Spanish-colonized Americas, showing how both men and women used the discourses of modernity to envision the place of women at all levels of social and even political life in the modern, utopian nation. Lee Skinner looks at texts by Clorinda Matto de Turner, Jorge Isaacs, Soledad Acosta de Samper, Ignacio Altamirano, Juana Manuela Gorriti, and many others, ranging from novels and essays to newspaper articles and advertisements. She argues that the rhetorical nature of modernity made it possible for readers and writers to project and respond to multiple contradictory perspectives on gender roles, establishing a narrative that competed with other nation-building discourses. With special attention to public and private space, domesticity, education, technology, and work, Skinner identifies gender as a central concern at every level of society.
Skinner, Lee. "La movilidad femenina en Teresa la limeña." Voces diversas: Nuevas lecturas de Soledad Acosta de Samper, edited by Carolina Alzate and Isabel Corpas de Posada, Bogota: Universidad de los Andes, 2016.
Abstract: In Teresa la limeña (1869), the questions of geographic and narrative female mobility is of vital importance. The novel's protagonist is in transit and transition, and her physical mobility, her ability to move from country to country, something usually not seen in female protagonists of nineteenth-century novels, allows her to create alternative spaces where she can exist, if not completely free from the influence of social norms, at least a little more liberated from them. At the same time, there is a certain narrative mobility given that the text incorporates voices other than that of Teresa, in the form of letters and interpolated narratives. This narrative mobility destabilizes narrative norms just as Teresa's movements destabilize the gendered norms that should confine her to the house. Finally, there is an emotional mobility as well. In this way, Acosta de Samper puts into play the normative codes that should govern women's behavior on various levels and establishes new models for women and for their texts.