Women and Print Culture: A Critical Exploration of the Archives of the Border Region of Mexico and the United States


Informative essay collection spotlights the history of women as readers, writers and editors on the Texas-Mexico border

Edited by Donna M. Kabalen Vanek & María Teresa Mijares Cervantes

ISBN: 978-1-55885-929-6
Publication Date: November 30, 2021
Format: Trade Paperback
Pages: 253

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Writers, editors, activists and prostitutes. Women along the US-Mexico border served in many more capacities than simply wives and mothers, though those were their primary roles.

Historically, religion was the link between women and the written word. According to the editors of this volume, Mexican women—particularly those from the privileged classes—had access to secular reading beginning in the 1800s. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, several periodicals dedicated to the education of the “fairer sex” emerged. Though the male voice initially predominated, women began contributing poetry and essays to various publications and eventually became editors of their own magazines and newspapers.

This collection of ten essays, based on the examination of publications from the US-Mexico region between 1850-1950, explores the role of women in print culture. Leading to a better understanding of women in the history of Mexican border life, the essays are organized in three thematic groupings: “Exploring the Archives: Women and Written Culture in Northeastern Mexico during the Late Nineteenth Century,” “The Cultural History of Women and Print Culture” and “A Transcultural View of Women and their Role as Activists in Northern Mexico and Texas.”

The scholars who researched the archival collections of newspapers, magazines and other print matter write about a variety of topics, including the participation of women in the War of Independence (1810-1821) and the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920), the belief females were inferior and should not be educated outside the home and even the cultural history of prostitutes. Published as part of the Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage project, this compendium of academic articles sheds light on women’s roles—especially as readers, writers and editors—in the Texas-Mexico border region in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.