New Book: “Maternidades puertorriqueñas”

Professor of Spanish Ivette Guzmán Zavala published Maternidades puertorriqueñas: Esclavitud colonialismo y diáspora en el arte y la literatura [Puerto Rican Maternities: Slavery, Colonialism, and Diaspora in Art and Literature (Instituto Internacional de Literatura Iberoamericana, 2022)]. According to Lebanon Valley College’s Go Valley, with this book, “she provokes a dialogue between images and texts advocating for a wider definition of motherhood that includes Black nannies and wetnurses.”

Description: This book establishes a dialogue between examples of Puerto Rican works of art and literary texts to analyze the meanings of various representations of motherhood. The (dis)connections between both creative spaces identify aspects of national history in the maternal body. Examples from art and literature reflect ways in which slavery, colonialism, and diaspora experiences tend to categorize, control, and intervene in mother-child relationships, including pregnancy and childbirth. However, according to Guzmán Zavala, to describe these experiences it is necessary to consider a language that encompasses “other maternities”. This text demonstrates that in the space between text and image there are hidden secrets related to practices that remain silenced and may, at times, even express revulsion and abjection in their struggle for visibility.

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