In 2008, Associate Professor of Spanish Luciano Martínez was invited to edit the first special issue on Latin American queer studies for Revista Iberoamericana, one of the oldest peer-reviewed academic journals dedicated to the study of Latin American literature. His volume on queer theory and gender studies became very influential in the field, and as a result, last year he was invited to propose a new topic for a special issue.
He wanted to create an authoritative text on 21st century literature focused on Latin American women writers. “In the past, Latin American women artists have been unjustly dismissed, silenced, or ignored by literary critics. A journal of this caliber sets the research agenda of the field, so I felt compelled to work very hard on this project,” says Martínez.
His hard work paid off. The Liverpool University Press Blog raves, “Given its comprehensive essays, wide range approach, and vast number of authors studied, this landmark special issue is destined to become an essential reference book for anyone interested in contemporary Latin American women writers.”
The double issue, Revista Iberoamericana Volume 89 Issue 282-283, opens with the voices of seven women writers: Daniela Catrileo (Chile), Betina González (Argentina), Gisela Kozak Rovero (Venezuela), Lina Meruane (Chile), Giovanna Rivero (Bolivia), Carolina Sanín (Colombia) and Mayra Santos-Febres (Puerto Rico), and closes with an interview to Mariana Enríquez (Argentina).
“I was very lucky these famous writers accepted to collaborate with me, and produce their own pieces,” says Martínez. He says these collaborations make the book more “creative, enduring, and unique because it creates a dialogue between artists and literary critics, which is quite unusual in academic books.”
These writers are exploring new themes, and using genres such as horror and fantasy, to denounce poverty, violence against women, and ecological disasters, explore reproductive autonomy, voluntary childlessness, and new forms of motherhood.
The issue features 31 collected texts, in Spanish and Portuguese, representing 17 countries. It includes essays about women writing in the Indigenous languages of Quechua and Mapudungun.
Not only are women writers of Indigenous and African descent featured, but several contributions focus on highly regarded literary works by transgender women writers.
“My goal was to create an innovative volume studying the literary works of women writers from as many countries as possible,” says Martínez. “I wanted to include well-established scholars, but also give prominence to young literary critics who are doing incredible, cutting-edge research.”