1st Edition

Pornographic Sensibilities Imagining Sex and the Visceral in Premodern and Early Modern Spanish Cultural Production

Edited By Nicholas R. Jones, Chad Leahy Copyright 2021
    280 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    280 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Pornographic Sensibilities stages a conversation between two fields—Medieval/Early Modern Hispanic Studies and Porn Studies—that traditionally have had little to say to each other. The collection offers innovative new approaches to the study of gendered and sexualized bodies in medieval and early modern textual production, including literary and historical documents. The volume’s embrace of the interpretative tools of Porn Studies also inscribes a critical provocation: in what ways can contemporary modes of reading the past serve to freshly illuminate not only the contours of that same past but also the very critical assumptions of the present upon which fields like medieval and early modern Hispanic Studies are built? In this way, Pornographic Sensibilities encourages at once both rigorous historicizations of pre- and early-modern culture, and playful engagement with "presentism," considered here as a critical tool to undress the hidden assumptions of both past and present. This move substantively challenges long-held critical orthodoxies among scholars of pre-Enlightenment periods, for whom the very category of "pornography" itself has often problematically been framed as an anachronism when applied to their work.

    Introduction Rethinking the Pornographic in Pre-modern and Early Modern Spanish Cultural Production

    Nicholas R. Jones, Bucknell University and Chad Leahy, University of Denver

    Part One

    Pornographic Hispanisms:

    Canon Formation, Erotic Concepts

    Chapter 1 "¿Una paja mental?": The Fiction of Friction in the Arcipreste de Hita’s Story of Pitas Payas

    Ross Karlan, Geffen Academy at UCLA

    Chapter 2 Celestina, Prostitution, and Canonicity—or, the Book as Brothel

    Emily C. Francomano, Georgetown University

    Chapter 3 "Y assí su alma con su mármol arde": Garcilaso de la Vega and Renaissance

    Casey R. Eriksen, Shenandoah University

    Chapter 4 Witty and Brief Eroticism: The Epigrams of Baltasar del Alcázar

    J. Ignacio Díez, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

    Chapter 5 Cervantine Obscenity in Translation

    Sherry Velasco, University of Southern California

    Chapter 6 Dys/Eu-phemisms: The Pornographic and the Erotic in 18th-Century Spanish


    Elena Deanda-Camacho, Washington College

    Part Two

    On the Visceral and its (Dis)Contents

    Chapter 7 On Thresholds, Pygmalionesque Fantasies, and the ‘lascivo impulso’ in Erotic Poetry

    Alani Hicks-Barlett, Brown University

    Chapter 8 Picarasploitation: From the Early Modern Period to the 80’s Spanish TV


    Enriqueta Zafra, Ryerson University

    Chapter 9 "Tan mal francés como gastas": Syphilis in the Poetry of Quevedo

    Adrián J. Sáez, Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia

    Chapter 10 María de Zayas and Woman-Authored Pornography

    Margaret Boyle, Bowdoin College

    Part Three:

    Haptic Arousals, Titillating the Senses

    Chapter 11 "Cuando te tocares, niña": An Approach to Images of Masturbation in Medieval and Early Modern Spanish Poetry

    Álvaro Piquero, Universidad Complutense de Madrid / Fundación Ramón Menéndez Pidal

    Chapter 12 Pornophonic Noise and the Erotics of Listening in Juan Pérez de Montalbán’s La

    mayor confusion

    Víctor Sierra Matute, New York University

    Chapter 13 Materializing Desire in Two Literary Traditions: Celestina and the Romance of

    the Western Chamber

    Yang Xiao, Zhejiang University

    Chapter 14 Police Voyeurism in Enlightenment Mexico City

    Nicole von Germeten, Oregon State University


    Nicholas R. Jones is an Assistant Professor of Spanish and Africana Studies (Bucknell University) whose research agenda explores the agency, subjectivity, and performance of black diasporic identities in early modern Iberia and the Ibero-Atlantic world. He is the author of Staging Habla de Negros: Radical Performances of the African Diaspora in Early Modern Spain (Penn State University Press, May 2019) and a co-editor of Early Modern Black Diaspora Studies: A Critical Anthology (Palgrave, December 2018) with Cassander L. Smith and Miles P. Grier. Jones also is a co-editor of the Routledge Critical Junctures in Global Early Modernities book series with Derrick Higginbotham and has published widely in peer-reviewed venues such as Hispanic Review, Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies, and University of Toronto Quarterly.

    Chad Leahy is Assistant Professor of Spanish at the University of Denver, where his research and teaching focus on medieval and early modern Spanish cultural studies. He is currently completing a monograph entitled Jerusalem and the Early Modern Invention of Spain, and is also co-author (with Ken Tully) of Jerusalem Afflicted: Quaresmius, Spain, and the Idea of a 17th-Century Crusade (Routledge, 2019). His research has appeared in journals including Anuario Lope de Vega, Bulletin of Spanish Studies, Cervantes, Criticón, Hispanic Review, Lemir, Revista de Literatura Medieval, Romance Notes, and Translat Library.