Sisters at War: Mexican Women's Poetry and the U.S.-Mexican War

TitleSisters at War: Mexican Women's Poetry and the U.S.-Mexican War
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsConway, Chistopher
JournalLatin American Research Review
Volume47
Issue1
Start Page3
Pagination3-15
Date Published2012
Abstract

During the U.S.-Mexican War (1846-1848), Mexican women published poems that tested the boundaries of conventional definitions of female subjectivity and domesticity. Central to the construction of female authorship was the idea of a collective women's voice, a "lyrical sisterhood" that situated the individual poetic voice within a broader historical tradition and a contemporaneous coalition of women writers. In speaking out about the war, women poets foregrounded their symbolic authority to exalt Mexican resistance to the invader, to decry Mexico's political and military failures, or to measure the horrors of war. In doing so, they selfconsciously used gender to blur the distinction between the public and domestic spheres. Durante la intervención norteamericana (1846-1848), mujeres mexicanas publicaron poemas que pusieron en tela de juicio las definiciones convencionales de la subjetividad femenina y la domesticidad. Central a la construcción de una autoría femenina era la idea de una voz femenina colectiva, una "lírica de hermanas" en la que la voz poética individual se situaba dentro de una tradición histórica y dentro de una coalición de escritoras contemporáneas. Al escribir sobre la guerra, estas poetas enfatizaron su autoridad simbólica para exaltar la resistencia al invasor, criticar los fracasos políticos y militares de México o dar expresión a los horrores de la guerra. Al realizar estas metas, conscientemente utilizaron el género sexual para desdibujar los límites entre la esfera pública y doméstica.

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