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Title: Negotiating space : women writers and artists of the Latin American vanguard
Author: Sutherland, C.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8497 7424
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis proposes that the practices of women writers and artists in early twentieth-century Latin America be read as a process of spatial negotiation. By analysing the works of eight contemporaneous women -four writers and four plastic artists- the study highlights the manner in which women constructed and conceived of their identities as artists through distinctly spatial tactics. This multidisciplinary, comparative thesis sheds new light on the works of well-known figures such as Mexican painter Frida Kahlo and Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral, whilst bringing to the fore artists that have remained marginalized within academic studies, such as Argentine printmaker Norah Borges and Bolivian sculptor Marina Núñez del Prado. In addition, it examines the works of Argentine writers Norah Lange and Victoria Ocampo, Chilean writer María Luisa Bombal, and Spanish-Mexican painter Remedios Varo. Employing the works of spatial theorists such as Bachelard, Massey, Foucault, Rose, and Bourdieu, the thesis combines theoretically-informed close readings of artistic works with analyses of archival materials such as letters, diaries, and press. Born between 1889 and 1910, these eight women share a common - though varied- historical context; paying close attention to this rich historical backdrop, the thesis complements analysis of primary materials with consideration of the distinct spatiality of Latin American modernity. The chapters are organised broadly around four key spatial themes: domestic architecture, the public sphere, the natural world, and travel. Having noted a repeated use of the symbols of windows, doors, and rooftops, the opening chapter considers the home as a transitional space in women's artistic practices. The second chapter examines the reception of Latin American women's work in print media; presenting original archival work, I identify four tropes that dominate discussion of women's work between 1920 and 1955, in order to expose the mechanics through which Latin American women writers and artists were marginalised within a period characterised by artistic collectivity. The third chapter attends to women's use of natural landscapes as key sites for the construction of gendered, national, and artistic identities. Lastly, I examine the theme of travel as both a strategy of emancipation and as an articulation of the sense of dislocation or "foreignness" experienced by women artists within the cultural sphere.
Supervisor: Lindsay, C. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available