Academic journal article Hispanic Review

Queer Iberia: Sexualities, Cultures, and Crossings from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance

Academic journal article Hispanic Review

Queer Iberia: Sexualities, Cultures, and Crossings from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance

Article excerpt

Queer Iberia: Sexualities, Cultures, and Crossings from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. Ed. Josiah Blackmore and Gregory Hutcheson. Durham: Duke UP, 1999. 478 pages.

Queer Iberia goes where few men, women, or other queer scholars have gone before-all the way back to the Middle Ages-to provide the reader of Iberian (the articles in the collection treat texts from all over the peninsula) works and cultures with a much-needed overview of gender difference and its contexts in a seemingly, at first, unreachable world. There are fifteen articles in the collection, in addition to an intelligent and bracing introduction. A few are written by what have come to be known as "established scholars"; most are by fresh new thinkers with an excellent command of the theories and historical contexts necessary for this kind of work, perhaps the most difficult in the field of medieval and early modern scholarship. The strange bifurcations at work at this time in this field are evident in this anthology-with the exception of a few "established" people (like the ones who published articles in Queer Iberia), the best writing is being done by the newer scholars. The essays are good scholarship; they are also innovative and permeated almost without exception by a palpably joyful enthusiasm; all of this is to say that Queer Iberia is a good read.

Together with Bergmann and Smith's Entiendes? and Molloy and Irwin's Hispanisms and Homosexualities, Duke University Press has made it possible, with the publication of Queer Iberia, for the fields of Iberian and Latin American studies to catch up to the advances made in gender-related scholarship in English and French over the past fifteen years. Although Entiendes? is the pioneering work in the field, and crosses genres, periods, and localities, Queer Iberia is of supreme importance because it focuses on a time period that is fundamental to the construction of nation, empire, and colony, and yet which is habitually under-represented in some scholars' and many students' thinking about matters of extreme relevance to our work today, an understanding of difference chief among them. …

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