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ix This book is more personal than any prior project. When I began to collect archival material for it almost two decades ago, I was working on a differently defined project; when I began to write this book, then too I thought I was writing a different book. Despite my initial intentions, I found myself pulled in by compelling historical situations and figures that I came across in the archival materials, the interpretation of which caught and held my imagination. If I had to identify a single starting point of that process, it would be my chance encounter in the archives in 1994 with a 1912 document referring to the teaching staff at the Escuela-Taller de Mujeres in Quito, where it became clear from the context that it was not public knowledge that one of the unmarried women teaching at the school, whose name I recognized, had given birth to a son two years previously. I continued to turn that over in my mind as I discovered the conflict-ridden nature of women’s work in paramedical fields, and even more so as the archives yielded up a clear social profile of some of Ecuador’s first professional women: scientific midwives. I had a growing sense that there was a story to tell not only about restrictive gender ideologies and double morality—something that is self-evident in the historical record as well as in everyday life in highland Ecuador, including in the years since I began to visit and study the country in 1986—but also about the activities of particular kinds of women in the Ecuadorian public sphere despite those restrictions. This is also a more personal project because of how much it depended ultimately on conversations with women (and men too) in Quito, both those belonging to my personal networks and those with whom I sought interviews because of their early professional activities. Given the still relatively few studies of gender history in early-twentieth-century highland Ecuador, converACKNOWLEDGMENTS sations with women were particularly fruitful in helping me to understand the archival materials I was encountering, and many of those conversations included discussions of anecdotes from the archives that I was struggling to contextualize and interpret. I thank those friends and consultants for their patience not only in considering and responding to my questions but also in waiting for these research results, which seem to have been a long time in coming given the distinctly nonlinear research process involved. I conducted thought-provoking (and highly enjoyable) interviews with Adrila Aguirre, Cecilia de Arellano, Iralda Benítez de Núñez, Ximena Cevallos, Clemencia Gía, Clemencia Larrea de Vela, María Clemencia (Morocha) Mart ínez de Larrea, María (Maruja) Martínez de Suárez, Piedad Mesías Mateo de Rubio, Georgina Morales de Carrillo, Fabiola Quevedo, Alcides Rubio, Elina Rubio, Rosa Santamaría, Aurelia Stacey, and Margarita Velasco. I also thank Dr. Eduardo Luna Yépez, fortuitously my neighbor in Quito, for his frankness and willingness to indulge my curiosity during a number of conversations about the history of the medical profession in Quito. My understanding of these materials has also been enhanced by conversations with many other friends in Quito over the years, including Alicia and Ximena Andrade, Rocío Bedón, Valeria Coronel, Antonio Crespo, Patricia de la Torre, Sonia Fernández, Ana María Goetschel, Mariana Landázuri, Raúl Mideros, Fabiola Montúfar, Martha Moscoso, Elena and Sandra Noboa, Mercedes Prieto, Catalina Rubio, Guadalupe Soasti, Luis Suárez, and Serena Van der Werff. As I moved toward an interpretation of the processes explored in this book, feedback from colleagues and friends on conference presentations and chapter drafts has also been very helpful. My thanks to Michiel Baud, Marc Becker, John Clarke, Kendra Coulter, Juanita de Barros, Paulo Drinot, Lindsay Dubois, Nicola Foote, Margaret Kellow, Chris Krupa, Esben Leifsen, Shelley McKellar , David Nugent, Steve Palmer, Paul Potter, and Liz Roberts. Erin O’Connor deserves an extra measure of gratitude for reading through and commenting so helpfully on the entire manuscript. Colleagues and graduate students in the Anthropology Department at the University of Western Ontario engaged with various iterations of these materials during departmental research colloquia over a number of years. My thanks especially to a wonderful and supportive group of colleagues in the department who followed the evolution of this project with interest over a considerable period of time. Tracey Adams and Luz María Hernández Sáenz, colleagues in UWO’s...


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