Gendered Crime and Punishment
Stacey Schlau, West Chester University of Pennsylvania
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.