First book in English to offer a thorough introduction to key concepts and figures in Spanish feminist thought.
Major Concepts in Spanish Feminist Theory is the first book in English to offer a substantial overview of Spanish feminist thought. It focuses on six concepts—solitude, personality, social class, work, difference, and equality—and distinguishes Spanish feminist theory from that of other countries. Roberta Johnson employs a chronological format to highlight continuity and polemics in Spanish feminist thinking from the eighteenth century to the present. She brings together arguments from well-known names such as Benito Jerónimo Feijoo, Concepción Arenal, Emilia Pardo Bazán, María Martínez Sierra, Carmen de Burgos, and Carmen Laforet, as well as less familiar figures such as the Countess Campo Alange María Laffitte and Lilí Álvarez, who defied restrictions on feminist activity during the Franco dictatorship to publish feminist books. The topics of difference and equality are explored, and the book recounts the long tension between theorists of each persuasion—a tension that erupted publicly during Spain’s democratic era. Each theorist’s arguments are laid out in straightforward, non-jargonistic prose, making this book a useful classroom tool for courses on Spanish women writers, Spanish culture, and cross-cultural feminist studies.
Roberta Johnson is Professor Emerita of Spanish at the University of Kansas and teaches in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of California at Los Angeles. She has written several books, including Spanish Women Writers and Spain’s Civil War (coedited with Maryellen Bieder).