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Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz and the Constraints on Knowledge in Colonial Mexico

Niles Gallery
Speaker(s) / Presenter(s):
Dr. Stephanie Kirk

Kirk examines the contrasting circumstances surrounding the inception and fate of two great colonial Mexican libraries to illuminate the gender politics of knowledge at play in the intellectual culture of seventeenth-century New Spain. Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, cloistered nun and famous writer, used her vast collection of books to challenge women's exclusion from scholarly culture while Bishop Juan de Palafox y Mendoza, powerful colonial political and religious figure, placed his library at the center of a powerful educational institution which promoted the production and dissemination of knowledge as masculine.