Approaches to Teaching the Works of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

  • Editors: Emilie L. Bergmann, Stacey Schlau
  • Pages: xii & 312 pp.
  • Published: 2007
  • ISBN: 9780873528160 (Paperback)
  • ISBN: 9780873528153 (Cloth)
Approaches to Teaching the Works of Sor Juana Ins de la Cruz Cover

“These articles are well organized and well written and provide useful teaching strategies to convey the seventeenth-century Sor Juana and her work to twenty-first-century students on both the graduate and undergraduate levels.”

—Lee A. Daniel, Texas Christian University

“The editors have done a fine job in selecting high-quality contributions that offer specialist and nonspecialist instructors strategic entrance points to the writings of Sor Juana.”


Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz—a witty, intellectually formidable, and prolific author—stands as an icon of women’s early writing and of colonial New Spain. Living in the capital city of seventeenth-century Mexico, she was located in the center of her world, but, as a self-taught, illegitimate, Creole woman and as a nun subject to the authority of male religious leaders, she was also socially marginal within that world. Like other early modern women she took up the pen to challenge gendered norms of the time. In style and content her works, which draw on baroque stylistics, classical rhetoric, and the natural sciences, are key documents in the development of Western literature.

Part 1 of this 98th volume in the Approaches to Teaching series evaluates the most useful materials among the wealth of resources available for teaching Sor Juana, reviews Spanish- and English-language editions of her work, highlights audiovisual and electronic resources for teaching, and recommends critical and historical studies of her writings and her period.

The essays in part 2, “Approaches,” aim to help teachers navigate with students not only the complex networks of meaning found in Sor Juana’s works but also her complicated social world. Contributors discuss gender and religion in colonial society; the element of the baroque in Sor Juana’s writing; the variety of ways Sor Juana subverted generic forms to render social criticism; and the relations between her writing and the twenty-first century.

Gwendolyn Alker
Electa Arenal
Catherine Boyle
Catherine M. Bryan
Jennifer L. Eich
Verónica Grossi
Geoff Guevara-Geer
Tamara Harvey
Emily Hind
Daniel P. Hunt
Stephanie Kirk
Asunción Lavrin
Carol Maier
Yolanda Martínez-San Miguel
Kathryn Joy McKnight
Mariselle Meléndez
Stephanie Merrim
John A. Ochoa
Mario A. Ortiz
Rosa Perelmuter
Sara Poot-Herrera
Amanda Powell
Rocío Quispe-Agnoli
Lisa Rabin
Elias L. Rivers
Nina M. Scott
Lisa Vollendorf
Grady C. Wray