Gendered Crime and Punishment

Women and/in the Hispanic Inquisitions


In Gendered Crime and Punishment, Stacey Schlau mines the Inquisitional archive of Spain and Latin America in order to uncover the words and actions of accused women as transcribed in the trial records of the Holy Office. Although these are mediated texts, filtered through the formulae and norms of the religious institution that recorded them, much can be learned about the prisoners’ individual aspirations and experiences, as well as about the rigidly hierarchical, yet highly multicultural societies in which they lived. Chapters on Judaizing, false visions, possession by the Devil, witchcraft, and sexuality utilize case studies to unpack hegemonic ideologies and technologies, as well as individual responses. Filling in a gap in our understanding of the dynamics of gender in the early modern/colonial period, as it relates to women and gender, the book contributes to the growing scholarship in Inquisition cultural studies.
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EUR €107.00USD $146.00

Biographical Note

Stacey Schlau is Professor of Spanish, and Women's and Gender Studies, at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. She has published many articles on early modern, colonial, and twentieth-century Spanish and Spanish American women writers, as well as four previous books, including Untold Sisters: Hispanic Nuns In Their Own Works, co-authored with Electa Arenal (University of New Mexico Press, 1989, 2010).

Table of contents

Acknowledgements …vii

Introduction: Toward a Gendered Approach to Understanding the Hispanic Inquisitions …1

1. Betwixt and Between: Judaizing Women Face the Inquisition… 25
2. Dangerous Spiritualities: Beatas, Illuminism, and False Religiosity …65
3. Devil With A Black or Brown Dress On: Holy Women as Ventriloquists of Satan …95
4. Bewitching Acts: Cures, Love Potions, and Spells… 119
5. Entre cuerpo y alma: Female Sexuality, Out of Control? …147

Epilogue… 173
Bibliography …177
Index …187


Scholars interested in early modern Spanish and colonial Latin American cultural studies, religious history, feminist cultural historiography, and women's and gender studies.