Women, Mysticism, and Hysteria in Fin-De-Siècle Spain (Hardcover)
Women, Mysticism, and Hysteria in Fin-de-Si cle Spain argues that the reinterpretation of female mysticism as hysteria and nymphomania in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Spain was part of a larger project to suppress the growing female emancipation movement by sexualizing the female subject. This archival-historical work highlights the phenomenon in medical, social, and literary texts of the time, illustrating that despite many liberals' hostility toward the Church, secular doctors and intellectuals employed strikingly similar paradigms to those through which the early modern Spanish Church castigated female mysticism as demonic possession. Author Jennifer Smith also directs modern historians to the writings of Emilia Pardo Baz n (1851-1921) as a thinker whose work points out mysticism's subversive potential in terms of the patriarchal order. Pardo Baz n, unlike her male counterparts, rejected the hysteria diagnosis and promoted mysticism as a path for women's personal development and self-realization.
About the Author
Jennifer Smith is an associate professor of Spanish in the department of languages, cultures, and international trade at Southern Illinois University.