Passing for Spain charts the intersections of identity, nation, and literary representation in early modern Spain. Barbara Fuchs analyzes the trope of passing in Don Quijote and other works by Cervantes, linking the use of disguise to the broader historical and social context of Counter-Reformation Spain and the religious and political dynamics of the Mediterranean Basin. In five lucid and engaging chapters, Fuchs examines what passes in Cervantes’s fiction: gender and race in Don Quijote and “Las dos doncellas”; religion in “El amante liberal” and La gran sultana; national identity in the Persiles and “La española inglesa.” She argues that Cervantes represents cross-cultural impersonation -- or characters who pass for another gender, nationality, or religion -- as challenges to the state’s attempts to assign identities and categories to proper Spanish subjects. Fuchs demonstrates the larger implications of this challenge by bringing a wide range of literary and political texts to bear on Cervantes’s representations. Impeccably researched, Passing for Spain examines how the fluidity of individual identity in early modern Spain undermined a national identity based on exclusion and difference.
Barbara Fuchs examines the paradoxes in the construction of Spain in relation to its Moorish heritage through an analysis of Spanish literature, costume, language, architecture, and chivalric practices from 1492 to 1609.
In 1803 in the colonial South American city of La Plata, Doña Martina Vilvado y Balverde presented herself to church and crown officials to denounce her husband of more than four years, Don Antonio Yta, as a “woman in disguise.” Forced to submit to a medical inspection that revealed a woman’s body, Don Antonio confessed to having been María Yta, but continued to assert his maleness and claimed to have a functional “member” that appeared, he said, when necessary. Passing to América is at once a historical biography and an in-depth examination of the sex/gender complex in an era before “gender” had been divorced from “sex.” The book presents readers with the original court docket, including Don Antonio’s extended confession, in which he tells his life story, and the equally extraordinary biographical sketch offered by Felipa Ybañez of her “son María,” both in English translation and the original Spanish. Thomas A. Abercrombie’s analysis not only grapples with how to understand the sex/gender system within the Spanish Atlantic empire at the turn of the nineteenth century but also explores what Antonio/María and contemporaries can teach us about the complexities of the relationship between sex and gender today. Passing to América brings to light a previously obscure case of gender transgression and puts Don Antonio’s life into its social and historical context in order to explore the meaning of “trans” identity in Spain and its American colonies. This accessible and intriguing study provides new insight into historical and contemporary gender construction that will interest students and scholars of gender studies and colonial Spanish literature and history.
This Norton Critical Edition includes:* Five major early modern plays of the Spanish Empire--The Siege of Numantia, Fuenteovejuna, The Dog in the Manger, Life Is a Dream, and The Trials of a Noble House--when Spain produced one of the most vibrant and dramatic canons in the history of theater.* An Introduction, a Note on the Translation, and explanatory footnotes by G. J. Racz and Barbara Fuchs.* Background materials centering on the comedia; on class, gender, and the performance of identity; and on stages, actors, and audiences.* Fourteen judiciously chosen critical essays both on Golden Age Spanish drama generally and on the individual plays.* A Selected Bibliography.
The Spanish Arcadia analyzes the figure of the shepherd in the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spanish imaginary, exploring its centrality to the discourses on racial, cultural, and religious identity. Drawing on a wide range of documents, including theological polemics on blood purity, political treatises, manuals on animal husbandry, historiography, paintings, epic poems, and Spanish ballads, Javier Irigoyen-García argues that the figure of the shepherd takes on extraordinary importance in the reshaping of early modern Spanish identity. The Spanish Arcadia contextualizes pastoral romances within a broader framework and assesses how they inform other cultural manifestations. In doing so, Irigoyen-García provides incisive new ideas about the social and ethnocentric uses of the genre, as well as its interrelation with ideas of race, animal husbandry, and nation building in early modern Spain.