Jennifer Wood: “From Tierra del Fuego to the Land of the Midnight Sun: Spanish Women Travelers, 1850-1920”

In her recent book, Spanish Women Travelers at Home and Abroad, 1850-1920: From Tierra del Fuego to the Land of the Midnight Sun (Bucknell University Press, 2013), Professor Wood explores the writings of eleven Spanish women as they visited many lands and witnessed major historical events. From among these remarkable travel writers, she discusses two for her Tuesday Noon Academy lecture — Emilia Serrano and Carmen de Burgos.

It was Emilia Serrano, the self-titled Baronesa de Wilson, who, in 1874 in the second of her six extended trips to America, traveled on ship through the Straits of Magellan in Tierra del Fuego. There she had the unique opportunity for a Spanish woman of her time to observe the indigenous peoples of the Straits.

Carmen de Burgos traveled extensively in Europe over many decades, reaching the Land of the Midnight Sun in Norway where she had an experience with the sublime. She also had the distinction of being Spain’s first women war reporter when she covered the War of the Rif in Morocco in 1909. In her presentation, Professor Wood will illuminate the adventures of these intrepid women by analyzing their narrative voices and the lenses of gender, class, and nationality that filtered their reporting.

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