By Federico Garza Carvajal
As Spain consolidated its Empire within the 16th and 17th centuries, discourses concerning the excellent 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 purely to heresy as a reason for prosecution, and hundreds of thousands of sodomites have been tortured, garroted, or burned alive for violating Spanish beliefs of manliness. but in truth, as Federico Garza Carvajal argues during this groundbreaking booklet, 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empire development and the necessity to justify political and monetary domination of topic peoples.Drawing on formerly unpublished documents of a few 300 sodomy trials performed in Spain and Mexico among 1561 and 1699, Garza Carvajal examines the sodomy discourses that emerged in Andalucía, seat of Spain's colonial gear, and within the viceroyalty of latest Spain (Mexico), its first and biggest American colony. From those discourses, he convincingly demonstrates that the idea that of sodomy (more than the particular perform) used to be the most important to the Iberian colonizing software. simply because sodomy adverse the precise of "Vir" and the Spanish nationhood with which it was once 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 wholly topic humans depicted as effeminate and susceptible to sodomitical acts, cannibalism, and inebriation.
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Additional resources for Butterflies Will Burn: Prosecuting Sodomites in Early Modern Spain and Mexico
Over the course of the early modern period and up until 1699, the types of discourses evident in the archival and literary documents have come to symbolize Spain’s attempt at a cultural reconﬁguration of itself. Siegel identiﬁed this phenomenon as a sort of “collective imperial identity crisis” brought about by reconquest, discovery, and dissemination of cultures, in a constant attempt to colonize others. For those in positions of power, their discursive descriptions buttressed and perpetuated their privileged status whether represented in terms of ethnic, gender, or religious diatribes.
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.
However, shouldn’t one instead ask how, if at all, did sodomies in southern Europe differ from their counterparts in the north? And what, if anything, accounts for the similarities or differences? To do so is to avoid the conﬂation of European cultures at any historical juncture and to reject the notion of a privileged narrative of sexuality emanating from any one culture. If, as Bhabha has suggested, one should not advocate a privileged narrative of the nation, then, by extension, one should debunk a privileged narration of homosexuality.
Butterflies Will Burn: Prosecuting Sodomites in Early Modern Spain and Mexico by Federico Garza Carvajal