Aurélie Vialette, The Ohio State University. Title: Rewriting the Colonial Past: Spanish Women Intellectuals as Agents of Cross Cultural Literacy in the Mexican Press. Abstract

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Aurélie Vialette, The Ohio State University.
Title: Rewriting the Colonial Past: Spanish Women Intellectuals as Agents of Cross Cultural Literacy in the Mexican Press.

The project examines the creation of a journalistic network between Mexico and Spain by women writers in the second half of the nineteenth-century. I argue that journalistic aesthetics and feminine didacticism were shared and stimulated through editorial relationships on both sides of the Atlantic. The paper will take into account newspapers published in México to which Spanish writers and politicians contributed such as El Federalista, El Siglo Diez y Nueve, El diario del hogar, El Álbum Ibero-Americano, El Monitor Republicano, El Partido Liberal, El Radical, El Ferrocarril and Al Telégrafo. However, for the analysis, I will concentrate on one illustrated feminine newspaper: El Álbum de la mujer, whose contributors include the Spanish writers Concepción Arenal, Carolina Coronado, Concepción Gimeno de Flaquer (editor of El Álbum de la mujer), Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, Julia Sassi and Rosario Acuña de la Iglesia, among others.

I will explain that this editorial dialogue created a presence for Spanish women writers in the Mexican public sphere and opened up a debate regarding the construction of historical discourse. The illustrated feminine journal became a platform for experimentation with cultural categories and questioned the uni-directionality of historical discourse. These journals published “connected histories” (Gruzinski) to raise a debate regarding the compartmentalization of national histories. In addition, the transatlantic dialogue in newspapers was also a space in which culture was made intelligible for both sides of the Atlantic –it was, for the reader, a space for the acquisition of a new culture, a space of cross cultural literacy.

The study of the press is, thus, a tool to understand intellectual transatlantic networks in the nineteenth-century. My paper will offer tools to work with the rich archive of newspapers and understand the formation of a transatlantic Republic of Letters.

Bio: I am an assistant professor of Iberian Studies at The Ohio State University. I specialize in 19th to 21st-century Iberian literature and cultural studies (popular music, journalistic discourse, archival studies, and mass and working class organizations). My work focuses particularly on the cultural production in response to the workers’ educational and social phenomena, such as poverty, the rise of revolutionary movements, and the integration of masses of workers into the cultural, political, and social concert in 19th-century Iberia (Catalonia, Basque Country, Asturias, Galicia). I am currently working on a book, tentatively titled: “Intellectual Philanthropists: Weapons of Mass Seduction in Nineteenth-Century Iberia.”

I also have a strong interest in transatlantic studies. My second research project analyzes the creation of a journalistic network by women writers between Mexico and Spain in the second half of the nineteenth-century and is titled “El pasado es ilustrable: redes periodísticas femeninas en México y España en la segunda mitad del XIX.”

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