In many ways 1999 was the year of the “boom” for contextualizing studies of early modern Spanish and Spanish American religious women’s writings. As the millennium came to a close, a handful of books were published that examined the interface between period institutional codes and groups of women writers. Until recently, monograph studies of single authors or anthologies had characterized the field. Kristine Ibsen’s Women’s Spiritual Autobiography in Colonial Spanish America is an important contribution to the move towards broader studies. Whereas Stephanie Merrim’s Early Modern Women Writers and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1999) places this famous nun within the milieu of other secular writers, and Sonja Herpoel’s A la zaga de Santa Teresa (1999) examines nearly two-dozen Spanish religious women’s spiritual autobiographies, Ibsen’s work focuses on writings of eight colonial Spanish American nuns. She links their work to period cultural...

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