Fracturing Heritage/Refracting Knowledge: The Construction of a Female Literary Canon in the 21st Century
Women writers from Latin America and Spain have consistently challenged the foundations of modern art and poetics both in their works and by their mere presence in literary history. This presentation explores some strategies Spanish/American female poets use to question and re-envision male-centered cultural foundations while transcending these questionings into unique and powerful new expressions that determine the construction of a unprecedented literary canon in the 21st Century. Within the new Millennium, new voices and trends are not only challenging the masculine claim to the power of seeing and of being the formulators of the Word, but are also expressing themselves in their own terms, most remarkably using a new medium: Internet. For cyberfeminists, the electronic medium addresses metaphors of liberation for women, as a space considered non-hierarchical, non-linear and de-centered. However, while Internet certainly presents an extraordinary form of liberation for women expression, it also creates a challenge as a medium tinted by Anglo-centrism that perpetuates theoretical imperialism, as well as for the fact that Internet is hardly available for women in many Latin American countries. This presentation exposes the complexities and contradictions of the Internet as a liberating medium for women creators in Latin America and Spain, while elaborates on new canonical possibilities for women poets in our century.
Keywords: Women Writers, Latin America, Spain, Literary Canon, Poetry, 21st Century, Feminism
Dr. Tina Escaja
Associate Professor, Romance Languages, University of Vermont