Pete Sigal

Pete Sigal

Pete Sigal is a professor of Latin American history and the history of sexuality at Duke University. The relationships between gender, sexuality, and colonialism have intrigued Sigal since he began his first book on Maya sexuality. He recently published a study on the interaction of writing and sexual representation in sixteenth and seventeenth-century indigenous Nahua societies of Mexico (The Flower and the Scorpion: Sexuality and Ritual in Early Nahua Culture [Duke University Press, 2011]), which won the Erminie Wheeler Voegelin Award from the American Society of Ethnohistory, for the best book published in 2011. He is currently working on a study of “ethnopornography,” the relationship between the colonial and ethnographic gaze and sexuality throughout the world (a project begun as a joint venture with the late anthropologist, Neil Whitehead); and engaging in research on the position of the hyper-masculinized Aztec warrior in early modern literature from Europe and the Americas. He also is working on a study of colonialism and sexuality, tentatively titled, “Sustaining Sexual Pleasure:

A History of Colonial and Postcolonial Voyeurism.” Sigal has moved from studying sexual desires in indigenous communities to examining the early modern cultural processes that created global concepts of modern sexuality, gender, masculinity, and femininity. Sigal is, along with Jocelyn Olcott and John D. French, senior editor of the Hispanic American Historical Review. He is author of From Moon Goddesses to Virgins: The Colonization of Yucatecan Maya Sexual Desire (University of Texas Press, 2000), and editor of Infamous Desire: Male Homosexuality in Colonial Latin America (University of Chicago Press, 2003).


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