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Sins against Nature: Sex and Archives in Colonial New Spain (Hardback)
  • Sins against Nature: Sex and Archives in Colonial New Spain (Hardback)
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Sins against Nature: Sex and Archives in Colonial New Spain (Hardback)

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£84.00
Hardback 344 Pages / Published: 01/06/2018
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In Sins against Nature Zeb Tortorici explores the prosecution of sex acts in colonial New Spain (present-day Mexico, Guatemala, the US Southwest, and the Philippines) to examine the multiple ways bodies and desires come to be textually recorded and archived. Drawing on the records from over three hundred criminal and Inquisition cases between 1530 and 1821, Tortorici shows how the secular and ecclesiastical courts deployed the term contra natura-against nature-to try those accused of sodomy, bestiality, masturbation, erotic religious visions, priestly solicitation of sex during confession, and other forms of "unnatural" sex. Archival traces of the visceral reactions of witnesses, the accused, colonial authorities, notaries, translators, and others in these records demonstrate the primacy of affect and its importance to the Spanish documentation and regulation of these sins against nature. In foregrounding the logic that dictated which crimes were recorded and how they are mediated through the colonial archive, Tortorici recasts Iberian Atlantic history through the prism of the unnatural while showing how archives destabilize the bodies, desires, and social categories on which the history of sexuality is based.

Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822371328
Number of pages: 344
Weight: 612 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Sins Against Nature offers a strikingly original contribution to the understanding of histories of sexuality in colonial New Spain. Zeb Tortorici's supple readings of records of sodomy, bestiality, and masturbation reveal radically divergent orientations to knowledge, affect, and reason at the very heart of the colonial archive. This is a work of compelling historical scholarship--interdisciplinary, imaginative, meticulous, and critically self-reflexive."--Anjali Arondekar, author of "For the Record: On Sexuality and the Colonial Archive in India "
"Based on an astonishing amount of research that scholars will mine for decades (one wonders if Zeb Tortorici has gone to every single archive and library in all of Mexico), Sins against Nature is a rigorously argued work that takes the field to the next theoretical and methodological level."--Pete Sigal, author of "The Flower and the Scorpion: Sexuality and Ritual in Early Nahua Culture "

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