Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

Barbas, fierros y masculinidad dentro de la mirada colombina

Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (2010), 87, (5), 603–618.

Abstract

El presente artículo analiza las representaciones del cuerpo americano bajo la mirada inquisitiva colombiana. Propongo que la manera de ver que se instaura está centrada en identificar ciertos rasgos corporales – como la ausencia de barba y armas – que el europeo identifica como anormalidades ya que estos funcionan como tropos de la masculinidad europea. Dichas imágenes se reiteran una y otra vez, para luego convertirse en motivos del espectáculo erótico masculino. El resultado de este acto epistémico violento es, por un lado la imagen del cuerpo indígena como un ser incompleto, anormal y mutilado por la visión imperial la cual no solamente lo despoja de sus tierras sino de su propio humanidad. Por el otro se da el establecimiento del europeo como un ser completo, normal y autosuficiente inscrito bajo ciertos rasgos específicos de subjetividad con los cuales le permiten construirse como sujeto universal por excelencia.

This article analyses the representations of the American body under the inquisitive gaze of Columbus. This way of seeing aims to identify certain corporal features – such as the lack of beard and arms – that the European identifies as abnormalities since they represent tropes of European masculinity. Such images are constantly reiterated and later become motives for the masculine erotic spectacle. The result of this epistemic violent act is, on the one hand, the image of the American indigenous body as an incomplete, abnormal human being, mutilated by the imperial vision, which took over not only their territories but their humanity as well; on the other, it establishes the European body as a complete, normal and self-sufficient body, inscribed according to certain specific features of subjectivity, which allow Europeans to construct themselves as the universal subject par excellence.

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Rivera-Ayala, Sergio