History •  Latin America and Women

$95.00 hardcover

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$29.95 paperback

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Gendered Crossings: Women and Migration in the Spanish Empire

Allyson M. Poska

Between 1778 and 1784 the Spanish Crown transported more than 1,900 peasants, including 875 women and girls, from northern Spain to South America in an ill-fated scheme to colonize Patagonia. The story begins as the colonists trudge across northern Spain to volunteer for the project and follows them across the Atlantic to Montevideo. However, before the last ships reached the Americas, harsh weather, disease, and the prospect of mutiny on the Patagonian coast forced the Crown to abandon the project. Eventually, the peasant colonists were resettled in towns outside of Buenos Aires and Montevideo, where they raised families, bought slaves, and gradually integrated into colonial society. Gendered Crossings brings to life the diverse settings of the Iberian Atlantic and the transformations in the peasants’ gendered experiences as they moved around the Spanish Empire.


Allyson M. Poska is a professor of history at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and the author of four books, including Women and Authority in Early Modern Spain: The Peasants of Galicia, which won the 2006 Roland H. Bainton Prize for best book in early modern history.


“An absorbing story about women who were recruited to colonize Patagonia in the 1770s. . . . This heavily researched book gives details about the women who made the crossing, about the roles they played and their family and sex lives.”


Denver Post

“Thoroughly researched and written in clear prose that retains readers’ attention, this fascinating monograph belongs in every college and university library. . . . Highly recommended.”



6 x 9 in. 296 pages 19 halftones, 5 maps, 3 tables