In 2001 Argentina faced its most serious ecomic crisis in years. At this turbulent time in Argentina's history, the question What is argentinidad? is more important than ever. The symbols of Argentina's national culture that are w revered came about during ather time of ecomic and political unrest in the second half of the nineteenth century and were captured by writers who understood authorship as a political matter. This book examines Argentine literary narratives from 1850 to 1880, including Amalia (1851) by Jose Marmol, Recuerdos de provincia (1850) by Domingo Fausti Sarmiento, Una excursion a los indios ranqueles (1870) by Lucio V. Mansilla and Martin Fierro (1872, 1879) by Jose Hernandez, and the changing relationship between ideas of citizenship, the body, and national space. The author argues that in each of the literary narratives she discusses, the ideas embodied by the emblematic citizen are articulated clearly in scenes in which the relationship between the gendered body and concepts of nation-space - the spaces, lands or territories where struggles over national identity are represented - comes into play. The work of Rosa Guerra and Eduarda Mansilla de Garcia, who do t have canical status but were widely read in their time and dealt with the colonial-era myth of the first white women held captive by native Argentines, is also explored.
Nancy Hanway is an associate professor of Latin American literature and culture at Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minnesota.