Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Se publica una recensión de Sex, identity and hermaphrodites in Iberia, 1500-1800 (de Richard Cleminson y Francisco Vázquez) en el Journal of the History of Sexuality

Acaba de publicarse, en el Journal of the History of Sexuality, 25 (2016), 2, pp. 358-360, una nueva recensión de Sex, identity and hermaphrodites in Iberia, 1500-1800 (de Richard Cleminson y Francisco Vázquez). Su autora es Leah DeVun. Incluimos debajo un extracto de la reseña:

In a succinct but dense study, Richard Cleminson and Francisco Vázquez García add a welcome contribution to the growing number of historical studies of hermaphroditism in premodern Europe. Sex, Identity, and Hermaphrodites in Iberia is notable for covering a geographical area that has so far received relatively little attention (aside from François Soyer’s Ambiguous Gender in Early Modern Spain and Portugal, which was published just before the Cleminson and Vázquez García volume).1 Both books function as a complement to studies by Kathleen Long, Ruth Gilbert, and other scholars who have focused mainly on northern Europe and Britain.2 The study at hand explores the ways in which Iberian thinkers evaluated the “rank” of an individual hermaphrodite in order to assign rights and privileges that were accorded differentially to men and women. Cleminson and Vázquez García describe sex in early modern Iberia as an ancien régime that encompassed a variety of identities and behaviors that were contested by juridical, medical, and theological authorities. Sex, for these authorities, was [End Page 358] a “state” comparable to other kinds of social status that could shift abruptly in accordance with a change in an individual’s activities. This notion of sex as “true rank,” the authors argue, was eclipsed in the nineteenth century by the medical category of “true sex.”
The heart of the study is an analysis of four (of twenty extant) cases of hermaphrodites or masculinized women from the period between 1530 and 1688. These examples range from the well-known cases of Eleno/a de Céspedes and Catalina de Erauso, who have been extensively studied by scholars, to the nearly unknown master fencer Esteban/ía de Valdaracete. Through these cases, the authors explore the identities of their subjects, noting how sex intersected with military, religious, and “racial” categories.

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