History Brown Bag Colloquium

Liliana Toledo Guzmán

Flyer for Feb 21 event


12:30 to 2 p.m., Feb. 21, 2024


Come join us for the Spring 2024 History Brown Bag Colloquium series! On February 21, History graduate student Liliana Toledo-Guzmán will be presenting PIANIST ESPERANZA CRUZ'S PARADOX: Being Feminine and a Modern Girl.

One of the early 20th-century conundrums in Mexico was redefining proper feminine professions after women were widely incorporated into the workforce. At the Yucatan Feminist Conference in 1916, one of the questions—assuming that the arts were a proper profession for women —was, "What are the arts and occupations that the state should encourage and support, and whose tendency is to prepare women for the intense life of progress?" Conversely, Hermila Galindo's paper, La mujer moderna, concluded that secluding women in jobs linked to "feminine virtues" did not benefit them: "music, dance, poetry, the novel, in a word, the ideal life, the life of the spirit, are the cruelest executioners of women." This talk explores how pianist Esperanza Cruz (1911-1999, pictured above), considered a prodigy by some, embodied the paradox presented at the Feminist Conference: being feminine by playing piano and modern by becoming a renowned music soloist and occupying the public sphere.