The Lieutenant Nun: Transgenderism, Lesbian Desire, and Catalina de Erauso

Paperback | February 15, 2001

bySherry Velasco

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Catalina de Erauso (1592-1650) was a Basque noblewoman who, just before taking final vows to become a nun, escaped from the convent at San Sebastián, dressed as a man, and, in her own words, "went hither and thither, embarked, went into port, took to roving, slew, wounded, embezzled, and roamed about." Her long service fighting for the Spanish empire in Peru and Chile won her a soldier's pension and a papal dispensation to continue dressing in men's clothing.

This theoretically informed study analyzes the many ways in which the "Lieutenant Nun" has been constructed, interpreted, marketed, and consumed by both the dominant and divergent cultures in Europe, Latin America, and the United States from the seventeenth century to the present. Sherry Velasco argues that the ways in which literary, theatrical, iconographic, and cinematic productions have transformed Erauso's life experience into a public spectacle show how transgender narratives expose and manipulate spectators' fears and desires. Her book thus reveals what happens when the private experience of a transgenderist is shifted to the public sphere and thereby marketed as a hybrid spectacle for the curious gaze of the general audience.

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Catalina de Erauso (1592-1650) was a Basque noblewoman who, just before taking final vows to become a nun, escaped from the convent at San Sebastián, dressed as a man, and, in her own words, "went hither and thither, embarked, went into port, took to roving, slew, wounded, embezzled, and roamed about." Her long service fighting for the...

Format:PaperbackDimensions:255 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:February 15, 2001Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292787464

ISBN - 13:9780292787469

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgmentsIntroduction1. Hybrid Spectacles: Lesbian Desire, Monsters, and Masculine Women in Early Modern Spain2.Celebrity and Scandal: The Creation of the Lieutenant Nun in the Seventeenth Century3. Melodrama and the De-Lesbianized Reconstruction of the Lieutenant Nun in the Nineteenth Century4. From Cinema to Comics: The Re-Lesbianization of the Lieutenant Nun in the Twentieth CenturyConclusionAppendix NotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"This book is an exciting, well-organized overview of the evolution of a cultural icon: the nun-ensign Catalina de Erauso. . . . It will be of interest not only to Hispanists, but also to students of gender, theater, and film."-Anne J. Cruz, Professor of Spanish, University of Illinois, ChicagoCatalina de Erauso (1592-1650) was a Basque noblewoman who, just before taking final vows to become a nun, escaped from the convent at San Sebastián, dressed as a man, and, in her own words, "went hither and thither, embarked, went into port, took to roving, slew, wounded, embezzled, and roamed about." Her long service fighting for the Spanish empire in Peru and Chile won her a soldier's pension and a papal dispensation to continue dressing in men's clothing. This theoretically informed study analyzes the many ways in which the "Lieutenant Nun" has been constructed, interpreted, marketed, and consumed by both the dominant and divergent cultures in Europe, Latin America, and the United States from the seventeenth century to the present. Sherry Velasco argues that the ways in which literary, theatrical, iconographic, and cinematic productions have transformed Erauso's life experience into a public spectacle show how transgender narratives expose and manipulate spectators' fears and desires. Her book thus reveals what happens when the private experience of a transgenderist is shifted to the public sphere and thereby marketed as a hybrid spectacle for the curious gaze of the general audience.This book is an exciting, well-organized overview of the evolution of a cultural icon: the nun-ensign Catalina de Erauso. . . . It will be of interest not only to Hispanists, but also to students of gender, theater, and film. - Anne J. Cruz, Professor of Spanish, University of Illinois, Chicago