Title

Decolonizing the Female Body in "Las tres virgenes de Santo Tomás"

Subject Area

Afro-Hispanic Studies

Abstract

My essay focuses on the process of decolonializing the female body in the novel Las tres virgenes de Santo Tomás by Guillermina Mekuy. The book is part of the emerging contemporary Equatorial Guinean movement of writers that tend to write from exile in Spain and invoke memories of precolonial Africa or the process of decolonializing their cultures. This work by Mekuy follows the lives of three sisters, as told by the middle child, and their life under the rigid religious structure of their black father and the African spirituality of their white mother. The girls are born in Equatorial Guinea but move to Spain and are enrolled in Catholic schools to correct their errant behaviors.

I examine how the main character, Fatima, reconnects with her past in surprising ways through various characters that show her that its acceptable to be a hybrid of multiple cultures instead of feeling like one must acculturate to a dominant culture and suppress the influence of the "other". Fatima explores her sexuality and learns that remaining a virgin, a vow the three sisters make to their father, is not necessarily predicated on maintaining a physical virginity. By the end of the novel, Fatima comes to grips with the intersectionality of her life in terms of sexuality, gender, and cultural expectations while reconnecting with her African roots.

Brief Bio Note

Martin Ward – I received a BA in Spanish from Armstrong State University and an MA from the University of Tennessee. I am currently a doctoral student at the University of Georgia. My areas of research include gender and sexuality studies in 20th and 21st century Latin American literature with a focus on the representation of queer bodies during dictatorships and the intersectionality of culture, gender, and sex.

Keywords

Equatorial Guinea, Mekuy, Decolonial, Feminine body

Location

Coastal Georgia Center

Presentation Year

2016

Start Date

4-7-2016 2:20 PM

End Date

4-7-2016 2:40 PM

Embargo

11-8-2015

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 7th, 2:20 PM Apr 7th, 2:40 PM

Decolonizing the Female Body in "Las tres virgenes de Santo Tomás"

Coastal Georgia Center

My essay focuses on the process of decolonializing the female body in the novel Las tres virgenes de Santo Tomás by Guillermina Mekuy. The book is part of the emerging contemporary Equatorial Guinean movement of writers that tend to write from exile in Spain and invoke memories of precolonial Africa or the process of decolonializing their cultures. This work by Mekuy follows the lives of three sisters, as told by the middle child, and their life under the rigid religious structure of their black father and the African spirituality of their white mother. The girls are born in Equatorial Guinea but move to Spain and are enrolled in Catholic schools to correct their errant behaviors.

I examine how the main character, Fatima, reconnects with her past in surprising ways through various characters that show her that its acceptable to be a hybrid of multiple cultures instead of feeling like one must acculturate to a dominant culture and suppress the influence of the "other". Fatima explores her sexuality and learns that remaining a virgin, a vow the three sisters make to their father, is not necessarily predicated on maintaining a physical virginity. By the end of the novel, Fatima comes to grips with the intersectionality of her life in terms of sexuality, gender, and cultural expectations while reconnecting with her African roots.