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Early Modern Maternities in the Iberian Atlantic

338 pages
Amsterdam University Press
Early Modern Maternities in the Iberian Atlantic is the first volume to emphasize women’s personal experiences and their life trajectories as mothers within the Peninsula and across the Atlantic. Although an official discourse that defined the conditions of motherhood emerged in the eighteenth century, before this period there were many different articulations of motherhood through which women negotiated hierarchical relationships, power struggles and alliances. While the individual experiences were unique and depended upon the positionality of race and class, the complexities of being a mother were universal. The wide variety of written and visual documents included in this volume highlight women’s voices in the first person along with more subtle references to motherhood as well as silences. This collection broadens our understanding of the complexities of motherhood, addressing the pressures of becoming a mother, miscarriage, the acts of giving birth and lactation and the ordeals of raising children.
Author Bio
Emily Colbert Cairns is an Associate Professor of Spanish at Salve Regina University. She specializes in gender and conversos. She is the author of Esther in Early Modern Iberia and the Sephardic Diaspora: Queen of the Conversas and co-editor of Confined Women: The Walls of Female Space in Early Modern Spain. Nieves Romero-Díaz is Professor of Spanish on the Alumnae Foundation at Mount Holyoke College. Her research explores the intersection of politics and emotions in women’s lives and their writings. Among her many publications, it is worth highlighting Nueva nobleza, nueva novela, Warning to the Kings and Advice of Restoring Spain: A Bilingual Edition and her work on María de Ágreda’s correspondence.