By Federico Garza Carvajal

As Spain consolidated its Empire within the 16th and 17th centuries, discourses in regards to the ideal Spanish guy or "Vir" went hand-in-hand with discourses approximately one other type of guy, one that engaged within the "abominable crime and sin opposed to nature"--sodomy. In either Spain and Mexico, sodomy got here to rank moment simply to heresy as a reason for prosecution, and countless numbers of sodomites have been tortured, garroted, or burned alive for violating Spanish beliefs of manliness. but actually, as Federico Garza Carvajal argues during this groundbreaking publication, the prosecution of sodomites had little to do with problems with gender and used to be even more a concomitant of empire development and the necessity to justify political and fiscal domination of topic peoples.Drawing on formerly unpublished documents of a few 300 sodomy trials carried out in Spain and Mexico among 1561 and 1699, Garza Carvajal examines the sodomy discourses that emerged in Andalucía, seat of Spain's colonial equipment, and within the viceroyalty of recent Spain (Mexico), its first and biggest American colony. From those discourses, he convincingly demonstrates that the concept that of sodomy (more than the particular perform) was once the most important to the Iberian colonizing application. simply because sodomy adverse the right of "Vir" and the Spanish nationhood with which it used to be in detail linked, the prosecution of sodomy justified Spain's domination of foreigners (many of whom have been represented as sodomites) within the peninsula and of "Indios" in Mexico, a unconditionally topic humans depicted as effeminate and vulnerable to sodomitical acts, cannibalism, and inebriation.

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Extra resources for Butterflies Will Burn: Prosecuting Sodomites in Early Modern Spain and Mexico

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These manuscripts are kept in dark boxes, stored within the confines of archives in Austin (Texas), Mexico City, Seville, Granada, Valladolid, Simancas, Madrid, and Burgos. A proceso varied in length from some one hundred to five hundred folios in total and consisted of the telling denunciations of the accused, the Varied Textures [ 11 ] graphic charges put forth by the prosecuting attorneys, the arguments for and by the defense, confessions by the accused and accounts by eyewitnesses, lengthy descriptions of the tortures inflicted upon the accused, sentences or appeals, and, finally, the justifications and descriptions of the sentences carried out by the different tribunals.

Recent feminist scholarship has ventured beyond an exclusive analysis of any given sex-gender system to interrogate other issues and categories rather than simply focusing on the history of women and sexuality. 39 Sangari, Vaid, Bem, and Butler, among others, have proposed that Western societies and cultures, throughout different modernizing epochs, have gendered all aspects of reality. Thus, gender should function as a mode of interrogating one’s efforts at historical reconstruction. ” 40 Alonso Díaz’ diatribes about Italians, Indios, and Negras, juxtaposed with his representations of the honorable Spanish man, provide an example of the way in which the ideology of gender intersected with the categories of ethnicity and xenophobia.

62 How subversive can one consider cross-dressed mestizas or Alonso Díaz, for that matter, to be, when these men actually reinforced Spanish gender forms along ethnic and class distinctions? 64 The cross-dressed mestizas and Alonso Díaz, then, emerged as products of the contradictions and juxtapositions that characterized Spanish colonial culture. Writing about sodomy prosecutions in Spain–New Spain from this historicized context allows the possibility of interpreting particular cultural nuances that might have influenced notions of sex and gender evident in the peninsula and in the viceroyalty.

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