Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

Soldiers and Strawberries: Questioning Military Masculinity in 1860s Colombia

Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (2010), 87, (6), 725–744.

Abstract

This article will discuss the relationship between military service, civil wars, masculinity and marriage in 1860s Colombia. It will do so by means of an analysis of a letter from Petra Vergara de Santander to her husband, Colonel Santiago Fraser of the Colombian army. This letter, recently donated by Vergara's descendents to the National Museum of Colombia, casts serious aspersions on several aspects of her husband's masculinity. As it is an important source for the history of domestic life, gender and the foreign-local encounter in Colombia, the letter is transcribed and translated here. The subsequent analysis reads the letter with gender and civil warfare in mind.

El artículo explora las relaciones entre el servicio militar, las guerras civiles, la masculinidad y el matrimonio en Colombia en los años 1860. Estudia el caso de una carta de Petra Vergara Santander a su esposo Coronel Santiago Fraser. En la carta, que hace poco llegó a las colecciones del Museo Nacional de Colombia, Petra Vergara comenta sobre varios aspectos de la masculinidad de su marido. Siendo la carta una nueva y importante fuente para las historias de la vida doméstica, género y los encuentros entre extranjeros y locales en Colombia, la transcribo y la traduzco. Luego viene un análisis que estudia la carta para interrogar la relación entre género y guerra civil.

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Brown, Matthew