Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Latin American, Caribbean and U.S. Latino Studies



Content Description

1 online resource (vii, 207 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Colbert I Nepaulsingh

Committee Members

Edna Acosta-Belén, Ramona Hernández


Colonial, Dominican Republic, Hispaniola, Oppression, Spain, Women, Sexism, Women's rights

Subject Categories

Caribbean Languages and Societies | Latin American Studies | Women's Studies


This dissertation is a pioneering study about the first Spanish women of Hispaniola, the first European settlement of the Americas. Spanish women in sixteenth century Hispaniola have never been adequately identified, and as a consequence their history has not been written. One of the major setbacks about the history of Spanish women in colonial Hispaniola is to know where to look for information about them. For this reason, this dissertation offers a research guide about Spanish women in sixteenth century Hispaniola, and in order to learn about the quotidian lives of these women, this dissertation presents specific case studies and includes vignettes about other Spanish women who deserve to be rescued from historical omission. To begin to understand the participatory role of Spanish women in the development of a society under patriarchal control, this dissertation proposes the theories of micro and macro development, women as a colony, injurious speech, discourse analysis, and intersubjective discourse dialogue, by discussing resistance strategies and agency within the confined spaces that Spanish women were made to live. Primary documents provide evidence to fill a gap in the historiography of colonial Latin American women of Hispaniola. Through the study of original documents and secondary sources, the research provides a systematic approach for the study of the lives of the first Spanish women founders of a new society. This dissertation also contributes to new knowledge by publishing important documents that have not been published before.