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Joana Serrado

In this paper I want to present the Portuguese mystic Joanna de Jesus, through her work, her own vita. Her work read through an interdisciplinary path – the life as (historical) event, as (mystical) knowledge, as (literary) text, and (philosophical) rebirthing. Joanna’s life is both a gendered aesthetic and ontological notion, as a (living, "otobiographical") source of naming (Joanna’s) time. An ego-document as a living evidence in the history of female subjectivity, revealing the frontiers between gender and genre.

Joanna de Jesus, née Joanna Freire de Albuquerque, a noble house, was a Portuguese Cistercians Nun (Monastery of Lorvão and Discalced Bernards, a.k.a. Monastary of N.S. Nazareth) and lived in Portugal between 1621-1680, in a period which included the Spanish domination and the Portuguese Restoration, as well as the development of religious-politic movements of "beatas" and "alumbrados/as" in the Iberian peninsula.

The question of autobiography and how it is written by religious women will be the starting point of a voyage into Joanna’s thought and relationship with Cleric authorities. How far can we consider an unknown autobiography as a crucial element in the establishment of a gendered Lebensphilosophie. How can we understand the subjectivity process in which Joanna draws her vita?

SvD, February 2009

  • Conferences > NEWW international conferences > Bochum 2009 > Serrado

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