Mujer, Alegoría y Nación: Agustina de Aragón y Juana la Loca como construcciones del proyecto nacionalista español (1808-2016) (Women, Allegory, and Nation: Agustina of Aragon and Joan the Mad as Constructions of the Spanish Nationalist Project (1808 - 2016) by Dr. María Elena Soliño
Published by Editorial Iberoamericana offers an integrated understanding of the role of visual and verbal expressive media in re-interpreting the role of women in Spanish history. The book is divided into two sections, both examining how nineteenth-century paintings forged national myths that still prevail today. They examine iconic female figures in Spanish culture that have been continuously rewritten in literature, painting, film, and even comics - Agustina de Aragón and Juana la Loca. The varying ways in which these female figures have been depicted serve as barometers that record the shifting state of the nation from the nineteenth century to the present. For instance, the prism through which Agustina de Aragón's story is retold is reflective of Spain's relationship to France at particular historical moments. As the concept of the nation as an imagined community evolved throughout the nineteenth-century, figures like Agustina were used to promote a sense of patriotism among the female population that was entrusted with producing the next generations of engaged citizens. These allegorical female figures also warn of the limits imposed by Spanish political culture upon powerful women. Thus even today when Televisión Española's historical melodrama Isabel triumphs worldwide, the representation of Isabel's heir to the crown, Juana de Castilla, continues to be represented as Juana la Loca, a recurrent example of how women are purportedly incapable of ruling.
Dr. María Elena Soliño is an Associate Professor of Spanish literature and film in the Department of Hispanic Studies at the University of Houston. She is the author of the book Women and Children First: Spanish Women Writers and the Fairy Tale Tradition as well as numerous articles published in the top peer-reviewed journals. Mujer, alegoría y nación. Agustina de Aragón y Juana la Loca como construcciones del proyecto nacionalista español (1808-2016) (Women, Allegory and Nation: Agustina of Aragon and Joan the Mad as Constucts of the Spanish Nationalist Project - 1808 to 2016) is her second monograph. She is the recipient of the 2016 Women's Gender and Sexuality Faculty Summer Research Award for her next book, tentatively titled Rescripting the Everpresent Past: Representations of Gender in Films of the Early Franco Regime. She is the past president of the Faculty Senate and at the international level, she is the president of the International Association of Feminine Literature and Culture, the main professional organization for Hispanism and Gender Studies. The AILCFH publishes Letras Femeninas the top peer-reviewed journal in their field.