Playing with Propaganda and Patronage: The Intersections of Masculinity and Public Image in Early Colonial Chilean Literature

Connor, Kristin, Spanish - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Padron, Ricardo, Department for Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, University of Virginia
Weber, Alison, Department for Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, University of Virginia
Bigelow, Allison, Department for Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, University of Virginia

Recent scholarship in early modern Spain such as that by José R. Cartagena Calderón and Mar Martinez Góngora examine Spanish masculinity in literature and art and their work marks valuable contributions to gender studies of the time period. Yet while Spanish masculinity of the peninsula has begun to be examined, masculinity in the new world has received less scholarly attention. In the following, I analyze a range of early colonial texts of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that focus on the conquest of Chile. I demonstrate that non-violent virtues such as loyalty, moderation, restraint, and father-son relationships were central to understandings of masculinity in conquest discourse. These non-aggressive virtues were a part of European discourse on gender and masculinity that were introduced into the new context of the Americas, causing them to be adapted and modified in some cases. Each chapter focuses on a different virtue of early modern ideal masculinity. Chapter one examines the theme of loyalty and self-fashioning in the letters of Pedro de Valdivia. Chapter two analyzes the relationship between empire, conquest, and masculinity of Spain’s Philip II through an examination of the Aristotelian philosophy of the mean and the Erasmian concept of restraint in the epic poem La Araucana . Chapter three examines the theme of moderation and masculinity of governor Don Garcia Hurtado de Mendoza in the epic poem Arauco Domado. Chapter four analyzes the connections between father-son relationships and empire of the Mendoza, Hapsburg, and Araucanian leadership in the Comedia Arauco Domado. Together, these four chapters demonstrate an early modern and early colonial preocupation with creating a public image of men in leadership that relfected an ideal masculinity based on non-violent or non-aggressive virtues.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
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