Recently tenured Professor of Spanish and Hispanic Studies, May Farnsworth, published two pieces of scholarship on women in Latin American theatre history.
Escrito por mujeres II (Latin American Theatre Review Press), which Farnsworth co-edited with Brenda Werth from American University and Camilla Stevens from Rutgers University, is a collection of works by female playwrights in Latin America from 1910 to 2010. The collection includes a play by post-revolutionary Mexican author Magdalena Mondragón, Cuban-American playwright Dolores Prida, Colombian playwright Patricia Ariza, and Argentine playwright Susana Torres Molina.
“In my general introduction to the anthology, I emphasize the impact of second and third-wave feminist thinkers on women’s theatre in Latin America,” Farnsworth says. The introduction notes the importance of Simone de Beauvoir’s assessment of women’s marginalization in the Second Sex (1949), Rosario Ferré’s celebration of female subjectivity in Sitio a Eros (1986), Gloria Anzaldúa’s affirmation of Latina feminist identity in La frontera/Borderlands (1987) and Judith Butler and Marta Lamas’s scholarship on gender studies in the Americas (1990).
“These key feminist texts provide context for the four plays anthologized in Escrito por mujeres II which emphasize diverse points of view in the areas of identity politics, gender deconstruction, and corporal subjectivity in 20th-century feminist theatre (from the 1950s to 2010),” says Farnsworth.
She also co-authored a chapter in International Women Stage Directors (University of Illinois Press) on women directors in Argentina.
In the chapter, a historical essay about women stage directors in Argentina, Farnsworth argues that some of that country’s first female “directors” were feminist suffrage activists.
“In 1919, for example, one suffrage activist ran for office several times despite the fact that women were denied the right to vote while another feminist advocate oversaw the operation of several mock voting booths for the ‘rehearsal’ of women’s voting rights,” she says.
Farnsworth joined the HWS faculty in 2007. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. in Spanish American Literature from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and her B.A. from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.