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Next weeks film, I, the Worst of All (Yo, la peor de todas) is set in Mexico City in the 1600s.

Mexico is now Nueva Espaa (New Spain), a Virreinato (Viceroyalty) of the Spanish Empire. A Viceroyalty differs from a colony in that there is a Virrey (Viceroy) who runs the region and who represents the King of Spain (to whom he answers directly.) The social organization of Nueva Espaa closely mirrors that of Spain at that time. The nobility is on top, and is closely aligned with the clergy and the military. Most if not all of these people would be Spaniards who had come over directly from Spain. Beneath them were the criollos, children of Spaniards who were born in the New World. They had access to most but not all of the positions of power and influence. Beneath them were the mestizos, who were European (usually by the father) and indigenous (usually by the mother.) Their status in part was further determined by whether or not they were legitimate offspring. Beneath them would usually be the African slaves, who began arriving in Mexico in the first half of the 1500s. At the bottom of the social scale were the indigenous peoples. Of course, this social scale only applied to the men! The women in Nueva Espaa were few and far between at first(leading of the proliferation of mestizos.....) The wives and families of the conquistadores made their way over, and eventually women of various social categories arrived, ranging from prostitutes to middle and upper class women hoping to land a criollo. White women were traditionally confined t the house, didnt attend school (or if they did, not for very long) and were taught the domestic and social skills needed for their future married lives. Restricting their movements was done in part to not expose them to unsavory elements, like the African and Indian inhabitants. However, these were the people employed in the homes and domestic workers and slaves, and those with whom many of the women had a lot of contact. Those women who didnt or couldnt marry had two other options, one more reputable than the other; the convent or the brothel. Our heroine for next weeks film Sor (Sister) Juana Ins de la Cruz, chose the former. The readings will give you some understanding of the religious atmosphere of the day, of the position of women in society, and of Sor Juana herself. She has been called La dcima musa (The 10th Muse), and is often considered to be the 1st true intellectual of the New World, male or female. I couldnt justify leaving her out of this semster! A Baroque Archbishop Viceroy Irving Leonard Describe the personality and temperament of Fray Garca Guerra How do appearance and reality vary within this reading? What did the nuns want and how did they hope to get it? What signs or omens seemed to indicate the future of Fray Garca? What eventually happened to him? What do you think the authors intent was in terms of describing the Catholic church? On Mens Hipocrisy Sor Juana What is the main point of the poem? Do you think there was a specific target (individual person) or was she aiming more generally?