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Peter Sigal, Faculty

Peter Sigal
Contact Info:
Office Location:  234 Carr Bldg., Box 90719
Office Phone:  919-684-2343
Email Address: send me a message


Ph.D.University of California at Los Angeles1995
M.A.University of California at Los Angeles1992
B.A.Bucknell University1986

Comparative Colonial Studies
Military History
Medieval and Early Modern History
Global Transnational History
Cultural History
Global and Comparative
Latin America and the Caribbean
Research Interests:

The relationships between gender, sexuality, and colonialism have intrigued me since I began my first book on Maya sexuality. I recently completed a study on the interaction of writing and sexual representation in sixteenth and seventeenth-century Nahua societies--The Flower and the Scorpion: Sexuality and Ritual in Early Nahua Culture (Durham: Duke University Press, 2011); I am currently co-editing with Neil Whitehead a volume on “ethnopornography,” the relationship between the colonial and ethnographic gaze and sexuality throughout the world; and engaging in research on the position of the hyper-masculinized Aztec warrior in early modern literature from Europe and the Americas. I have 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.

Areas of Interest:

Colonial Latin America
Indigenous Peoples of Latin America
The History of Sexuality


Anthropology • Cross-Cultural Comparison • Gender • Historiography • History, 16th Century • History, 17th Century • History, 18th Century • History, 19th Century • History, 20th Century • Internationality • Language • Latin America • Men's Health • queer theory • Religion • Sexual Behavior • Sexuality • Social Change • Women's Health

Current Ph.D. Students  

  • Farren Yero  
  • Priya D. Shah  
  • Caroline Garriott  
Representative Publications   (More Publications)

  1. The Flower and the Scorpion: Sexuality and Ritual in Early Nahua Culture, Latin America Otherwise (2011), Duke University Press [ViewProduct.php]
  2. Imagining Cihuacoatl: Mexica Masculinity and Spanish Colonization, Gender & History, vol. 22 no. 3 (November, 2010), pp. 538-563 (Republished in Historicising Gender and Sexuality. Kevin P. Murphy and Jennifer M. Spear, eds. West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011.)
  3. Latin America and the Challenge of Globalizing the History of Sexuality, American Historical Review, vol. 114 no. 5 (December, 2009)
  4. Queer Nahuatl: Sahagún's Faggots and Sodomites, Lesbians and Hermaphrodites, Ethnohistory, vol. 54 no. 1 (January, 2007), pp. 9-34 (Republished in Indigenous Religions. Steven Hunt, ed. London: Ashgate, 2010.)
  5. Sexual Encounters/Sexual Collisions: Alternative Sexualities in Colonial Mesoamerica, edited by Pete Sigal and John Chuchiak, Ethnohistory, vol. 54 no. 1 (January, 2007)
  6. The Cuiloni, the Patlache, and the Abominable Sin: Homosexualities in Early Colonial Nahua Society, Hispanic American Historical Review, vol. 85 no. 4 (2005), pp. 555-593 [555]
  7. Infamous Desire: Male Homosexuality in Colonial Latin America , University of Chicago Press [html]
  8. To Cross the Sexual Borderlands: The History of Sexuality in the Americas, Radical History Review, vol. 82 (2002), pp. 171-185
  9. Gender, Male Homosexuality, and Power in Colonial Yucatan, Latin American Perspectives, vol. 29 no. 2 (2002), pp. 24-40
  10. From Moon Goddesses to Virgins: The Colonization of Yucatecan Maya Sexual Desire (2000), University of Texas Press [sigfro]

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