Rosario DeSwanson Publishes Book on Mexican Playwright

Spanish language and literature professor Rosario DeSwanson was pleased to announce the publication of her book on the plays of Mexican feminist Rosario Castellanos, “¿Y cuál es me lugar, señor, entre tus actos?” Published by Peter Lang, the book has received advanced praise from Velma Garcia, professor of government and Latin American and Latino studies from Smith College, and from Gene Bell-Villada, professor of romance languages at Williams College.

“Although there are numerous studies that engage with the work of Mexican feminist Rosario Castellanos, most center on her narrative prose, poetry, or essays,” said Rosario. “While it is true that her last play, El eterno femenino (1974) has received critical acclaim, outside of this farce very little is known about the other plays penned by this important 20th-century Mexican feminist writer.”

Rosario’s book addresses this vacuum, offering scholars of Latina/o literature a complete study of all of Castellanos’ plays. It traces her ideas regarding the place of female intellectuals within the Mexican nation, as her first drama coincides with her decision of becoming a writer.

“The comparative arch of her female characters begins with the sadness of the writers of Tablero de damas (1952), and ends with the joyful causticness of the historical characters and archetypes of her farce El eterno femenino (1974),” said Rosario. “The latter provides a depiction of new spaces and opportunities opened to women in the aftermath of the Mexican Revolution, while at the same time shows the unchanging nature of their roles.”