Friday, April 8, 2011, 3:00–5:00 p.m.
Commentator: Cary Miller, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
The Gender Amazon: Indigenous Female Masculinity in Early Modern European Representations of Contact
Heather Martel, Northern Arizona University
Sixteenth-century European representations of indigenous American female masculinity or the “gender Amazon” suggest doubt about the dominance of Christian masculinity, civility and spirituality in first encounters. Texts and images portray indigenous women at work in the fields, carrying heavy burdens, and armed with bows and arrows for the hunt or battle. That these women were represented in terms of female masculinity sheds light on European experiences of those encounters, revealing cultural and spiritual ambivalence. Interestingly, these representations of indigenous female masculinity also seem to reveal early awareness of Native American women’s important ceremonial roles as spiritual and cross-cultural mediators.
All papers are pre-circulated electronically to those who plan to attend the seminar in person. For a copy of the paper, e-mail Heather Radke at email@example.com, or call 312-255-3524. Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.
The Newberry Library Seminar on Women and Gender
Co-sponsored by the History Departments of Northeastern Illinois University and the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture at the University of Chicago
Scholl Center for
American History and Culture
60 W. Walton St.
Chicago IL 60610
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