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Mexican Masculinities

2003
Author:

Robert McKee Irwin

Mexican Masculinities

A fascinating examination of masculinity in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Mexico

The first of its kind and a powerful challenge to customary views of gender and sexuality in the life and literature of Mexico, this book traces literary representations of masculinity in Mexico from independence in 1810 to the 1960s. Mexican Masculinities is a radical undermining of the simple hetero/homosexual and masculine/feminine oppositions that have for so long informed views of Mexico’s national character.

Extremely readable and at times just simply stunning, Robert McKee Irwin’s Mexican Masculinities sets out to trace a rare history of Mexican literary constructions centered on the shifting notions of masculinity as these appear in literature since the late nineteenth century.

José Quiroga, author of Tropics of Desire: Interventions from Queer Latino America

The first of its kind and a powerful challenge to customary views of gender and sexuality in the life and literature of Mexico, this book traces literary representations of masculinity in Mexico from independence in 1810 to the 1960s, and shows how these intersect with the constructions of nation and nationality.

The rhetoric of “Mexicanness” makes constant use of images of masculinity, though it does so in shifting and often contradictory ways. Robert McKee Irwin’s work follows these shifts from the male homosocial bonding that was central to notions of national integration in the nineteenth century, to questioning of gender norms stirred by science and scandals at the turn of the century, to the virulent reaction against gender chaos after the Mexican revolution, to the association of Mexicanness with machismo and homophobia in the literature of the 1940s and 1950s—even as male homosexuality was established as an integral part of national culture.

As the first historical study of how masculinity and, particularly, homosexuality were understood in Mexico in the national era, this book not only provides “queer readings” of most major canonical texts of the period in question, but also uncovers a variety of unknown texts from queer Mexican history, including the 1906 novel Los 41, which reenacts the scandal of a turn-of-the-century transvestite ball that launched modern discussion of homosexuality in Mexico. It is a radical undermining of the simple hetero/homosexual and masculine/feminine oppositions that have for so long informed views of the country’s national character.

Mexican Masculinities

Robert McKee Irwin is assistant professor and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Tulane University. He is coeditor, with Sylvia Molloy, of Hispanisms and Homosexualities (1998), and also, with Ed McCaughan and Michelle Nasser, of The Famous 41 (2002).

Mexican Masculinities

Extremely readable and at times just simply stunning, Robert McKee Irwin’s Mexican Masculinities sets out to trace a rare history of Mexican literary constructions centered on the shifting notions of masculinity as these appear in literature since the late nineteenth century.

José Quiroga, author of Tropics of Desire: Interventions from Queer Latino America

Analytically sophisticated and ambitious in the range of topics it treats, this book offers an intriguing study of both famous and lesser-known texts. Its arguments regarding gender representation and nation are well worth consideration by historians of society, culture, and lo mexicano.

Hispanic American Historical Review

This is a refreshing and important addition to studies of gender and sexuality in Mexico and provides a challenge to historians and others to make more explicit connections among homosociality, homosexuality, and homophobia in national identity research.

American Historical Review

Mexican Masculinities is a history of the representation of masculinities and male sexualities in fictional Mexican literature. Irwin provides excellent summaries of Mexican literature, and he moves the book along nicely from story to story by providing background and author information as needed to give complete background. Irwin suggests that there is a certain homoeroticism that is specifically Mexican that comes to represent Mexican masculinity.

Men and Masculinities

Mexican Masculinities

Contents

Contributors to This Volume
Preface

Introduction—Stephen C. Porter Glaciation

1. The Late Wisconsin Glacial Record of the Laurentide Ice Sheet in the United States D. M. Mickelson, Lee Clayton, D. S. Fullerton, and H. W. Boms, Jr.
2. The Cordilleran Ice Sheet in Alaska Thomas D. Hamilton and Robert M. Thorson
3. The Cordilleran Ice Sheet in Washington, Idaho, and Montana Richard B. Waitt, Jr., and Robert M. Thorson
4. Late Wisconsin Mountain Glaciation in the Western United States Stephen C. Porter, Kenneth L. Pierce, and Thomas D. Hamilton Nonglacial Environments
5. Late-Pleistocene Fluvial Systems Victor R. Baker
6. Depositional Environment of Late Wisconsin Loess in the Midcontinental United States Robert V. Ruhe
7. Sangamon and Wisconsinan Pedogenesis in the Midwestern United States Leon R. Follmer
8. Trends in Late-Quaternary Soil Development in the Rocky Mountains and Sierra Nevada of the Western United States Ralph R. Shroba and Peter W. Birkeland
9. The Periglacial Environment in North America during Wisconsin Time Troy L. Pewe
10. Pluvial Lakes of the Western United States George I. Smith and F. A/ayne Street-Perrott Coastal and Marine Environments
11. Sea Level and Coastal Morphology of the United States through the Late Wisconsin Glacial Maximum Arthur L. Bloom
12. The Ocean around North America at the Last Glacial Maximum John Imbrie, Andrew Mclntyre, and T. C. Moore, Jr. Pleistocene Biota
13. Vegetational History of the Northwestern United States Including Alaska Calvin J. Heusser
14. Late Wisconsin Paleoecology of the American Southwest W. Geoffrey Spaulding, Estella B. Leopold, and Thomas R. Van Defender
15. Vegetational History of the Eastern United States 25,000 to 10,000 Years Ago W. A. Watts
16. Terrestrial Vertebrate Faunas Ernest L. Lundelius, Jr., Russell W. Graham, Elaine Anderson, John Guilday, J. Alan Holman, David W. Steadman, and S. David Webb
17. Late Wisconsin Fossil Beetles in North America Alan V. Morgan, Anne Morgan, Allan C. Ashworth, and John V. Matthews, Jr.
18. The Antiquity of Man in America Frederick Hadleigh West Climatology
19. Paleoclimatic Evidence from Stable Isotopes Irving Friedman
20. Late-Pleistocene Climatology R. G. Barry