International Interventions: Rosario Castellanos (1925-1974) and Global Feminist Discourses
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This thesis explores the international dimensions of Rosario Castellanos’ writings, which exhibit a constant—and evolving—preoccupation with feminist literature from across the world. The Mexican woman, public intellectual, professor, author, and ambassador dialogued with Simone de Beauvoir, Simone Weil, Betty Friedan, Emily Dickinson, Virginia Woolf, Gabriela Mistral, and Clarice Lispector, among others, while relating their ideas to Mexican women’s lives. Her journalistic production, essays, poetry, and narrative undergo an evolution as Castellanos articulates a unique Mexican feminist project that factors in race, class, and other intersections affecting Mexican women. I access Castellanos—who has been considered the “Simone de Beauvoir of Mexico”—through the lens of global feminism, which considers the varying layers of power and powerlessness when women of disparate regions and cultures seek solidarity. Through a global feminist perspective, we see how Castellanos, rather than blindly importing First World women’s agendas, carefully intervenes in global feminist discouses with what Mexican women need. In her evolution, Castellanos grows closer to a feminist project that, rather than buying into the myth of a global sisterhood, evokes instead a desire for a Latin American sisterhood and for Mexican women’s self-definition.