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Review / Reseña. Stephanie Saunders. Fashion, Gender and Agency in Latin American and Spanish Literature. 2021

Author:

Alba F. Aragón

Bridgewater State University, US
About Alba F.
Alba F. Aragón is Associate Professor at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts, where she teaches courses in Spanish language, Latin American, and Latinx Literature. Her current research focuses on the significance of fashion and the dressed body in Latin American literature and culture.
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Abstract

Stephanie Saunders’ Fashion, Gender and Agency in Latin American and Spanish Literature (2021) is a valuable contribution to fashion and gender studies in Latin America and Spain. Saunders examines an engaging selection of contemporary literary works in which the seamstress—a formerly popular literary type forgotten by the early twentieth-century—reemerges as a protagonist whose valuable skills enable change. While the nineteenth and early twentieth century represented the seamstress as a “dangerous” feminine identity associated with middle-class economic downfall and a potential slip into prostitution, Saunders convincingly shows how contemporary cultural productions recast the figure as a dynamic force pushing gender, artistic, geographic, socioeconomic, and political boundaries. Intertwined with Saunders’ literary discussion is a consideration of the exploitative nature of contemporary fashion cycles and garment production today—processes that continue to rely on human labor and expertise despite their industrialized character. The author humanizes and values anew the work of textile professionals past and present, in an incisive title that should grace many collections on Latin American literature and culture.

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Fashion, Gender and Agency in Latin American and Spanish Literature (2021) de Stephanie Saunders es una valiosa contribución a los estudios de moda y género en América Latina y España. Saunders examina una selección atractiva de obras literarias contemporáneas en las que la costurera, un tipo literario anteriormente popular olvidado a principios del siglo veinte, resurge como protagonista cuyas valiosas habilidades posibilitan el cambio. En el siglo diecinueve y principios del veinte se le representó a la costurera como una identidad femenina "peligrosa" asociada con la caída económica de la clase media y un posible deslizamiento hacia la prostitución, pero Saunders muestra de manera convincente que las producciones culturales contemporáneas reformularon la figura como una fuerza dinámica que estira las fronteras de género, artísticas, geográficas, socioeconómicas y políticas. Entrelazada con la discusión literaria de Saunders hay una consideración de la naturaleza explotadora de los ciclos de moda contemporánea y la producción de prendas de vestir en la actualidad, procesos que continúan dependiendo del trabajo humano y la experiencia a pesar de su carácter industrializado. La autora humaniza y valora de nuevo el trabajo de las profesionales textiles pasadas y presentes, en un título incisivo que debería incluirse en muchas colecciones sobre literatura y cultura latinoamericana.

How to Cite: Aragón, A.F., 2022. Review / Reseña. Stephanie Saunders. Fashion, Gender and Agency in Latin American and Spanish Literature. 2021. Middle Atlantic Review of Latin American Studies, 6(1), pp.163–166. DOI: http://doi.org/10.23870/marlas.385
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Published on 28 Jun 2022.

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