Latin American Studies ETDs

Author

Anna Lapera

Publication Date

5-1-2011

Abstract

My thesis, 'God Must Have Been a Feminist to Make Me': Writings From the Girls of El Hogar la Buena Esperanza is a feminist ethnography of a poetry workshop I conducted over three months in el Hogar la Buena Esperanza, a home for under-privileged indigenous girls located within a cloistered Carmelite Convent in the northeastern Peruvian Amazon. Based on seventeen girls and over fourteen different creative writing activities, I explore how their writings reveal particular life histories in Latin America. From reimagining and re-writing stories and memories of their long departed hometowns, re-writing small-town histories; from exploring the cultural borders experienced in the leaving of traditional village life to large town portrait making of multiple identities that show that identities can be many, and form by experience rather than on the geo-political lines that separates one nation from another; from narrating violent political conflict between indigenous political organizations and Peruvian military over land that forced them to leave the convent for a month, from exploring what home and identity mean to indigenous girls in a border-informed paradigm of a Latin America that would rather neatly place them in one place from exploring the borderland they experience between girlhood and womanhood, and imagining a future womanhood free of constraining patters girls are expected to live out, and full of love, travel and self-revelation (which they all express the desire to have); from all of these, their writing takes us and them through little known borderlands in Latin American and feminist experience. In the thesis, I explore the physical and conceptual borderlands they cross in order to arrive at the convent, and how they imagined negotiating these borderlands in the future. Through these activities, they develop both a textual and material relationship with themselves as girls, forcing us, as women, as once-girls and as academics to re-visit and re-work the spaces, architecture, borderlands, bodies, the definitions and work, that both engage and are engaged by girls.

Project Sponsors

LAII Field Research Grant

Language

English

Keywords

Feminist, Peruvian young womens' poetry

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Latin American Studies

Level of Degree

Masters

Department Name

Latin American Studies

First Advisor

Nogar, Anna

First Committee Member (Chair)

Nogar, Anna

Second Committee Member

Lamadrid, Enrique

Third Committee Member

Singer, Beverly

Comments

Submitted by anna.lapera@gmail.com (anna.lapera@gmail.com) on 2011-04-15T17:15:11Z No. of bitstreams: 1 Anna Lapera thesis reduced size.pdf: 6319676 bytes, checksum: b27c26e0cb10c4eb9c8a011c50294874 (MD5), Approved for entry into archive by Doug Weintraub (dwein@unm.edu) on 2014-09-15T19:41:46Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 Anna Lapera thesis reduced size.pdf: 6319676 bytes, checksum: b27c26e0cb10c4eb9c8a011c50294874 (MD5), Made available in DSpace on 2014-09-15T19:41:46Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Anna Lapera thesis reduced size.pdf: 6319676 bytes, checksum: b27c26e0cb10c4eb9c8a011c50294874 (MD5)

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