A Queer Mother for the Nation: The State and Gabriela Mistral

A Queer Mother for the Nation: The State and Gabriela Mistral

by Licia Fiol Matta
     
 

Chilean writer Gabriela Mistral (1889-1957), the first Latin American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, was a poetic idol for generations of Latin Americans who viewed her as Womanhood incarnate, the national schoolteacher-mother. How this distinctly masculine woman who never gave birth came to occupy this role, and what Mistral's image, poetry, and life have to… See more details below

Overview

Chilean writer Gabriela Mistral (1889-1957), the first Latin American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, was a poetic idol for generations of Latin Americans who viewed her as Womanhood incarnate, the national schoolteacher-mother. How this distinctly masculine woman who never gave birth came to occupy this role, and what Mistral's image, poetry, and life have to say about the relations-and realities-of race, gender, and sexual politics in her time, are the questions Licia Fiol-Matta pursues in this book, recreating the story of a woman whose misrepresentation is at least as intriguing, and as instructive, as her fame.

A Queer Mother for the Nation weaves a nuanced understanding of how Mistral cooperated with authority and fashioned herself as the figure of Motherhood in collaboration with the state. Drawing on Mistral's little-known political and social essays, her correspondence and photographs, Fiol-Matta reconstructs Mistral's relationship to state politics. Her work questions the notion of queer bodies as outlaws, and insists on the many ways in which queer subjects have participated in and sustained the normative discourses they seem to rebel against.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780816639649
Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
Publication date:
02/28/2002
Edition description:
1
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
5.88(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Schoolteacher of America
Pt. IA Gay Hagiography?
1Race Woman3
2Schooling and Sexuality37
3Citizen Mother65
4Intimate Nationalism94
Pt. IIQueering the State
5Image Is Everything125
6Pedagogy, Humanities, Social Unrest158
7Education and Loss186
Epilogue: The "National Minority Stereotype"213
Notes221
Index257

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