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Infamous Desire

Male Homosexuality in Colonial Latin America

What did it mean to be a man in colonial Latin America? More specifically, what did indigenous and Iberian groups think of men who had sexual relations with other men? Providing comprehensive analyses of how male homosexualities were represented in areas under Portuguese and Spanish control, Infamous Desire is the first book-length attempt to answer such questions. In a study that will be indispensable for anyone studying sexuality and gender in colonial Latin America, an esteemed group of contributors view sodomy through the lens of desire and power, relating male homosexual behavior to broader gender systems that defined masculinity and femininity.


“This collection explores various facets of homosexual identity . . . in what we now call Latin America from the pre-conquest period through the eighteenth century. It attends to various racial and ethnic groups, and various social classes. . . . Most importantly, however, it gives space to contending voices in the ongoing debate over the nature and history of homosexuality, both in colonial Latin America and beyond. As such, it will be useful to readers interested in queer studies and cultural studies in general, and not just to Latin Americanists.”

Ricardo Paderón, | Bulletin of Spanish Studies

Table of Contents

Introduction: (Homo)Sexual Desire and Masculine Power in Colonial Latin America: Notes toward an Integrated Analysis, Pete Sigal
1. Toward an Andean Theory of Ritual Same-Sex Sexuality and Third-Gender Subjectivity
Michael J. Horswell
2. Gender Subordination and Political Hierarchy in Pre-Hispanic America
Richard C. Trexler
3. Gendered Power, the Hybrid Self, and Homosexual Desire in Late Colonial Yucatan
Pete Sigal
4. Political "Abomination" and Private Reservation: The Nefarious Sin, Homosexuality, and Cultural Values in Colonial Peru
Ward Stavig
5. Tales of Two Carmelites: Inquisitorial Narratives from Portugal and Brazil
David Higgs
6. Crypto-Sodomites in Colonial Brazil
Luiz Mott, translated by Salima Popat
7. The Ashes of Desire: Homosexuality in Mid-Seventeenth-Century New Spain
Serge Gruzinski, translated by Ignacio López-Calvo
List of Contributors

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