Week Three!

As we continue on along the story line of Latin America, I continue to be surprised and excited about the rich history and culture that comes along with everything in Latin America. What I find particularly interesting about this week’s content is the story of Catalina De Erauso, and all the events that happened in her life. I think that it’s absolutely fascinating how she decided to leave her life of a nun behind, and continue on with the identity of a man. Its incredible how much opportunity came her way, that wouldn’t have even been considered had she decided to live her life as a woman. It’s amazing that she managed to conceal her true identity for so long, especially while she was working with her brother! A question I have though, is: did she decide to identify as a man due to the fact that she thought that she would have more opportunity this way? Or was it because male was her true gender identity? This was briefly mentioned in the “Lieutenant Nun” article, but I feel as if it still isn’t 100% clear, and makes for an interesting discussion topic.

The Casta Paintings are another really interesting topic that I’m glad we’re covering. I really like how every person, no matter the skin colour, is represented within these paintings. I find that to be very forward thinking, especially for the time period in which they were most popular. However, I’m not entirely sure if the casta paintings are a positive or negative thing. On one hand, yes it does have representation of many different races and ethnicities, but how are those races and ethnicities being represented? In the student video “Casta Paintings: an Introduction” the students mention this. They examine how the different races are represented and question the effects that these paintings have on people’s opinions in regards to race. My question is, what do you think about this? Are they positive or negative or both? Or, was was the original intention of the artist who first created this concept of capturing race in paintings? Was it to show the strict lines of racial hierarchy? Or to try and help soften the lines of the divide? Whatever the intention, I think that its interesting how the conversation of race has been going on for such a long time, and still a topic of discussion even today.

Thank you for reading my somewhat of a rant-like post!

2 thoughts on “Week Three!

  1. Frances

    Hi Maddie,

    I enjoyed your post. I too was wondering about Catalina’s gender identification. From the Lieutenant Nun translation it seems that whether she identifies as a man or woman, she was certainly awarded many opportunities due to her “disguise” as a man. This aspect didn’t really surprise me at all however. I admire the bravery and cunning which she must have employed in order to live out her life this way. I was also intrigued by the fact that when she did reveal her biological sex to both the King and the Pope that she wasn’t punished. Especially in the Pope’s case for which the reasoning seemed to be that she was a virgin. I was surprised that her virginity would be what they were concerned about. Also there is some evidence that she isn’t in some definitions a “virgin” at all.

  2. isak parker

    I think that the Casta paintings were implemented to provide a social classification in Latin America, in order of race, to further advantage the Europeans into positions of power. I believe this in part helped create the “European other” topic covered last week. As a whole, I think that these paintings are negative because they conveyed a racist view on the indigenous and African population.


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