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Latin American Studies: Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

This website was created in support of the 2011 Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Conference.

Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz

Sor Juana Ines 
(Mexico, 1648-1695)

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, original name Juana Ramírez de Asbaje   (born November 12, 1651?, San Miguel Nepantla, Viceroyalty of New Spain [now in Mexico]—died April 17, 1695, Mexico City), poet, dramatist, scholar, and nun, an outstanding writer of the Latin American colonial period and of the Hispanic Baroque.

 Juana Ramírez thirsted for knowledge from her earliest years and throughout her life. As a female, she had little access to formal education and would be almost entirely self-taught. Juana was born out of wedlock to a family of modest means in either 1651 or, according to a baptismal certificate, 1648 (there is no scholarly consensus on her birth date). Her mother was a Creole and her father Spanish. In 1667, Juana began her life as a nun. She moved in 1669 to the Convent of Santa Paula of the Hieronymite order in Mexico City, and there she took her vows. Sor Juana remained cloistered in the Convent of Santa Paula for the rest of her life.

Sor Juana’s success in the colonial milieu and her enduring significance are due at least in part to her mastery of the full range of poetic forms and themes of the Spanish Golden Age. She was the last great writer of the Hispanic Baroque and the first great exemplar of colonial Mexican culture. By 1694 Sor Juana had succumbed in some measure to external or internal pressures. She curtailed her literary pursuits and died while nursing her sister nuns during an epidemic.

Excerpt from Source: Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. (2011). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from

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