Hispanic Studies 320. Spanish Women in the Golden Age
The history of women in Golden Age Spain is a largely untapped field. In early modern Spain, church and state, helped by the powerful Inquisition, promptly extended their dominance from the control of basic expression of faith to the domain of daily life, of personal privacy, and inside this sphere, sexual behaviors. Women were not spared in this general domestication of minds and bodies. On the contrary, in this patriarchal and catholic society all eyes were focused on their writings, talk, body and its image, sexuality, and faith, even their dreams and visions.
In this course we will examine the position of women in religious, political, literary, and economic life. Drawing on both historical and literary approaches we will challenge the portrait of Spanish women as passive and marginalized, showing that despite forces working to exclude them, women in Golden Age Spain influenced religious life and politics and made vital contributions to economic and cultural life.