Sexual Violence in History: A Bibliography

compiled by Stefan Blaschke


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First published: March 1, 2024 - Last updated: March 1, 2024


Speaker: Yunning Zhang

Title: Achinado Holiness and Survival in Two Hagiographies of Catarina de San Juan

Subtitle: -

Conference: 70th Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America (March 21-23, 2004) - Online Program

Session: Experiments in Archive-Based Narrative From the Spanish Empire (Organizers: Dale Shuger and Nicholas R. Jones)

Place: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Date: March 23, 2024

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 17th Century | American History: Mexican History | European History: Portuguese History | Types: Forced Marriage; Cases: Real Victims / Catarina de San Juan; Offenders: Social Status / Pirates


Link: -


Speaker: Yunning Zhang, Department of Comparative Literature, University of Chicago -

Abstract: »This paper rethinks the scholarly sense of (East) Asian experiences in the early modern world by experimenting with the concept of "critical fabulation" in the hagiographical archive of the Spanish Transpacific. I focus on the materiality of achinado holiness in two hagiographies of Catarina de San Juan, a Mughal princess who became venerated mystic in Puebla, New Spain and popularly known as la china poblana. I argue that in the Novohispanic society where chino/as remained an undefined ethnic minority, hagiographers as archivists crafted racialized paradigms of female sanctity and evoked acoustic, visual, tactile tropes of blackness to render her holiness legible. Meanwhile, I approach the hagiographical archive through a surface reading that emphasizes the physicalized and nonphysicalized sexual violence that haunted Catarina's body from her violation by the Portuguese pirates on the galleon to her forced marriage to an abusive chino slave in Puebla—narratives of extreme sufferings which her hagiographers rewrote into miraculous survivals. These affect laden narratives reroute our understanding of sex as impossible to untangle from schemes of transpacific missions and commerce (and the less-explored terroristic landscape of devotion in colonial borderlands).« (Source: Online Program)

Wikipedia: History of the Americas: History of Mexico / New Spain | History of Europe: History of Portugal | Marriage: Forced marriage | Piracy: Piracy in the Caribbean / Portuguese pirates | Sex and the law: Rape / Catarina de San Juan