Degree Name

Master of Arts


Faculty of Arts


This research on three selected Latin American women travel writers of the nineteenth century focuses concretely on the topic of identity' vis-à-vis the displacement experience. To approach the question, a cross-disciplinary methçdology has been employed. Based on a textual discourse analysis, the methodology includes applications of literary theory (travel writing specifically), post-colonial theory and gender issues situated specifically in relation to the context of Latin America in the nineteenth century. The selected authors and their texts are: Maria de las Mercedes Santa Cru2 y Montalvo, Countess of Merlin's Viaje a la Habana^ Soledad Acosta de Samper's Viaje a España en 1892 and Juana Manuela Gorriti's L^ tierra natal and the narration "Impresiones y Paisajes" (from Misceláneas). They were chosen for their diverse travelling experiences: migration, work/leisure and exile, respectively with consideration given to their different national origins (Cuba, Colombia and Argentina). The analysis focuses on the way the authors construct an identity in their texts and identifies the strategies employed in order to do so. Thus, a discursive analysis of Merlin's text shows how the author reconstructs a double national identity through her self-fashioning both as Cuban Creole and as a French Countess. In the case of Acosta, her text constituted a tool to build an erudite, scientific voice for the author in a time when the constraints on the production of women's travelogues pointed towards more typically "feminine" discourses. Finally, Gorriti's text permitted the author to regain a past lost by exüe and to construct a national identity based on a tñ-national belonging.