Anne J. Cruz, Professor of Spanish and Cooper Fellow at the University of Miami, and Rosilie Hernández, Associate Professor of Spanish at the University of Illinois at Chicago, combined forces in editing Women’s Literacy in Early Modern Spain and the New World. Their efforts were rewarded, [quite literally,] with the announcement that their book was named the Prize Winner for Collaborative Project by the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women (SSEMW). The prize was announced last month to over 700 scholars attending the Sixteenth Century Society Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The SSEMW is a network of scholars, who besides granting awards for outstanding scholarship, sponsor conference sessions, maintain a website and listserv and support one another’s scholarly work and achievements. Given that the SSEMW’s focus is on the “study [of] women and their contributions to the cultural, political, economic, or social spheres of the early modern period,” it is of no surprise that the Cruz-Hernandezbook would catch the Society’s attention.
The essays in their volume move from discussions of women’s education and the role of convents to examples of cultural literacy in literature and the arts; and address both major writers such as Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz and María de Zayas, as well as lesser known figures such as Ana de Mendoza.
The volume’s foci were not all that the SSEMW took note of. The award committee called it an “exemplary piece of scholarship” and avowed that Women’s Literacy in Early Modern Spain and the New World is:
a serious and valuable volume, realizing the full potential of collaborative work as it brings together the work of top experts to extend considerably the scholarship to date on women’s participation in the written cultures of early modern Spain and the New World
The Cruz- Hernández volume contributes significantly to the study of gendered literacy by investigating the ways in which women became familiarized with the written word, not only by means of the education received, but through visual art, drama and literary culture. For all these reasons, the SSEMW awarded them this most-deserving prize.
Women’s Literacy in Early Modern Spain and the New World is edited by Anne J. Cruz and Rosilie Hernández
Contributors to the volume: Anne J. Cruz, Nieves Baranda Leturio, Montserrat Pérez-Toribio, Trevor J. Dadson, Darcy R. Donahue, Elizabeth Teresa Howe, Stephanie L. Kirk, Clara E. Herrera, Adrienne L. Martín, Alicia R. Zuese, Yolanda Gamboa-Tusquets, Rosilie Hernández, Emilie L. Bergmann.
Women’s Literacy in Early Modern Spain and the New World is one of several titles included in Ashgate’s Women and Gender in the Early Modern World series.