Iberian Daughters of Sappho: Female Friendship in Early Modern Spain

Barlow, Jennifer E., Spanish - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Weber, Alison, Department for Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, University of Virginia

“Iberian Daughters of Sappho: Female Friendship in Early Modern Spain” explores textual representations of female alliances across a variety of genres, including poetry, theater, and spiritual biography and autobiography. This project challenges the classical and Renaissance belief that, in Michel de Montaigne’s (1533-1592) words, “women are in truth not normally capable of... [sustaining] that holy bond of friendship,” through an examination of female-authored texts that represent women’s often passionate relationships. Throughout this project, I argue that literary depictions of women’s social ties are grounded in particular understandings of the female body, which are frequently twisted in unexpected ways by female authors. By demonstrating that friendship between women was formed, sustained, and sometimes disturbed through a discourse of the body, this study will revise certain critical and historical narratives about female friendship during the early modern period.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
early modern Spain, friendship, gender, literature, theater, poetry, convent writing, Teresa of Avila
All rights reserved (no additional license for public reuse)
Issued Date: