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Persephone Braham
University of Delaware (Newark, DE 19716-0099)
Gender and Monstrosity in Latin America and the Caribbean

This proposal is for a Summer Stipend to support research for a book entitled New World Teratologies: Gender and Monstrosity in Latin America and the Caribbean. The book examines the ways in which the monstrous female figures both the dangers and rewards of necessary cultural transformations in Latin America. As metaphors of exoticism, fecundity, sterility, and sexual and other excesses, feminine monsters sustained the ongoing conceptualization of the unknown that was a prerequisite to conquest. From the sirens, cannibals and Amazons of Discovery literature, to nineteenth-century mermaids and Sphinxes, to late twentieth-century representations of the Caribbean as Charybdis, feminine monsters have been integral to debates on power and identity in Latin America.

Project fields:
Latin American Literature

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2005 – 8/31/2006