This collection is comprised of 35 critical articles as well as selected poems presented during the IV International Conference on the Hispanic Cultures of the United States. The symposium was organized by Renate von Bardeleben in cooperation with Juan Bruce-Novoa, Erlinda Gonzales-Berry and María Herrera-Sobek and held at the University of Mainz in Germersheim in 1990. Under the central theme of Gender, Self, and Society, the volume focuses on the intricate interplay of gender in the process of individuation and socialization. The spectrum of topics includes gender and genre theory, the writing of a gendered literary history, the poetic quest of men and women writers, sexual stereotyping in fiction, the emergence of the male/female self as man/woman and writer, interracial sexual relations, intergenerational gender relations, gender and the sense of place, the frontier heroine, the use of literary motifs and folkloric elements in female writings, the impact of the literary tradition and the crosscultural influence of gender concepts. The focus on gender unmasks subtle, submerged, and subversive developments in the interaction between the sexes in these traditionally male-oriented cultures. New light is shed on topics ranging from politics and sociology to literature, linguistics, and the arts.