Diálogos Transoceánicos Coloniales: Poética Criolla en Negociación
Del Barco, Valeria
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Del Barco, Valeria
My dissertation focuses on the poetic production of three criollas —the offspring of Spaniards in the Americas— in dialogic relation with prominent male writers across the Atlantic. The works studied, Clarinda’s Discurso en loor de la Poesía (1608); Epístola a Belardo (1621) by Amarilis; and Sor Juana’s Primero sueño (1692) and La Respuesta (1691), span the entirety of the 17th century, in both the Viceroyalty of Perú and New Spain. Important interventions in Latin American colonial culture have noted criollos’ ambivalence towards the culture inherited from Spain as well as the need to assert their cultural agency through writing. The poets at the center of my study participate in this preoccupation with the added complication of being women, whose works are habitually read in isolation, as exceptions. My dissertation defines a feminine criolla poetics dialogically negotiated with western tradition, be it Spanish gongorismo or Italian humanism, while highlighting the tension between inserting themselves in the canon and critiquing it. In place of readings that emphasize the transfer of discourse and knowledge from the center to the periphery, from the metropole to the colonies, I demonstrate that the writings of these women challenge, or even reverse, this logic. My study analyzes rhetorical and intertextual strategies by which criollas, twice removed from power due to their birthplace and gender, negotiated a space in the canon. My analysis reveals the acute consciousness of gender that informs each woman’s writing; however, I also participate in recent movements in criticism and theory that interrogate conventional notions of power, space and the directionality of colonial exchange. This dissertation examines the processes of cultural appropriation as it defines a feminine criolla poetics dialogically negotiated with western tradition, one that also opens up a space to critique this tradition through parody, irony and textual transformation. This dissertation is written in Spanish.