Submission Title

Manuela Saénz: A Look at Simón Bolivar's Mistress

Presenter Information

Donna Schrock, Whitworth University

Session Number

SS4

Location

Weyerhaeuser 303

Abstract Number

SS4-b

Abstract

Manuela Saenz is best known as the mistress of Latin American independence leader Simon Bolivar, but she also played a large role in the independence movements. The daughter of a Spanish aristocrat, her life was spent rebelling against both societal expectations and governmental institutions. In my presentation I will look specifically at how her relationship with Bolivar affected the way that Saenz’s role in the independence has been portrayed. In looking at the work of historians in both Saenz’s time and today, we can see how her gender and its role have been depicted. By considering Saenz simply as a mistress her role has been largely downplayed and her contributions ignored. Her involvement in the independence movements caused Saenz to bend many gender norms of her time, resulting in a confused identity that continues today. I hope to combat the stereotype that she has been given with this presentation.

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Apr 23rd, 10:45 AM Apr 23rd, 12:15 PM

Manuela Saénz: A Look at Simón Bolivar's Mistress

Weyerhaeuser 303

Manuela Saenz is best known as the mistress of Latin American independence leader Simon Bolivar, but she also played a large role in the independence movements. The daughter of a Spanish aristocrat, her life was spent rebelling against both societal expectations and governmental institutions. In my presentation I will look specifically at how her relationship with Bolivar affected the way that Saenz’s role in the independence has been portrayed. In looking at the work of historians in both Saenz’s time and today, we can see how her gender and its role have been depicted. By considering Saenz simply as a mistress her role has been largely downplayed and her contributions ignored. Her involvement in the independence movements caused Saenz to bend many gender norms of her time, resulting in a confused identity that continues today. I hope to combat the stereotype that she has been given with this presentation.