Wednesday, February 28, 2007

17th Century Mexican Women Journalists

Although Juana Belen Gutierrez de Mendoza began writing and publishing her newspaper Vesper: Justicia y Libertad in the year 1900 in Guanajuato, Mexico, many Spanish and Mexican women laid the path for her radical journalistic steps. For example, in 1641 Dona Micaela Benavides de Calderon inherited her husband's printing press, which she operated for more than forty years after his death. Significantly, Benavide's was the first woman to have her name appear on a broadsheet. Her female decendents continued Benavide's love of publishing. Other women published their writings in the first periodical in colonial Mexico, La Gaceta de Mexico y Noticias de Nueva Espana [The Gazzette of Mexico and News of Spain] in the year 1722. The paper surfaced at the dawn of the modern newspaper in Mexico City, reporting on various colonial cities in Mexico, including news from Europe. Printing was halted for six years because of the lack of paper, but the paper was picked up again in 1728 running to 1739. Between the years of 1732-1737 La Gaceta de Mexico Gertudis de Escobar y Vera, the great-great granddaughter of Dona Micaela Benavides de Calderon published the paper. Father Sahagun de Arevalo helped with the editing of the paper. Sadly, the newspaper halted publication because of the lack of paper. For the next 47 years in the Viceroyality of New Spain, no newspaper reached the hands of the people until 1784 with the publication of Mecurio de Mexico [Mercury of Mexico]. It is not known for certain if women contributed to the paper; they would have done so anonymously. Little else is known of women journalists writing during this period. Those who did have the courage to write forged a path for the next generation of women in the next century.

Information from this posting came from the book Political Journalism by Mexican Women During the Age of Revolution, 1876-1940 written by Joel Bollinger Pouwels.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Welcome to my blog, mextizarhetoric.
Mextiza, a hybrid term mixing Mexico and mestiza, captures the essense of who I am, and what my research is all about. The second part, rhetoric, covers the discipline that I am studying. More than just a discipline though, rhetoric is all around us! It shapes our view of the world.
Currently, I am a Ph.D. graduate student at the University of Texas at El Paso. My blog will cover my research in recovering rhetorics of Mexican women, my weekly or daily trials as a grad. student, and other observations. Please feel free to comment on my postings, or to send me a hello!
The picture in this post is from my research trip to Durango, Durango, Mexico from December 16-23, 2006. I am pictured in one of the arched walkways of El Instituto de Cultura del Estado de Durango. My plans are to return there this March; the archives were closed for the holiday. I hope you enjoy sharing my archival finds with me.