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LHMPodcast 12: Catalina de Erauso

Saturday, July 29, 2017 - 11:00

The Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 12 with Heather Rose Jones - transcript pending

This month's historic podcast as about 17th century Spanish gender outlaw Catalina de Erauso. If you've been reading the LHMP entries recently, you'll know why Catalina's life is so fascinating. The podcast includes autobiography excerpts and a discussion of how Catalina became a fictionalized figure across the Spanish-speaking world.

(Originally released 2017/07/29 - listen here)

(transcript here)

Show Notes

This is a brief tour through the life of an early 17th century Basque woman (or possibly trans man--though it’s tricky to use any sort of modern category label) who escaped from a convent at age 15, began living as a man, and went off to the Spanish colonies in the New World to seek fortune and adventure. She found plenty of adventure.

In this episode we talk about:

  • The basic facts of Catalina’s life
  • Why it’s difficult to try to apply modern categories of gender and sexuality to historic individuals
  • The literary and pop culture context of early 17th century Spain that may have shaped how Catalina’s story was told--and even perhaps inspired her actions
  • Catalina’s romantic and erotic encounters with women, and why they’re a bit less satisfying to a modern audience than we might wish
  • Some exciting new changes to the Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast

Books mentioned

  • The full text of Catalina de Erauso’s autobiography can be found in translation in:
    • Stepto, Michele & Gabriel Stepto (translators). 1996. Catalina de Erauso. Lieutenant Nun -- Memoir of a Basque Transvestite in the New World. Boston: Beacon Press. ISBN 0-8070-7073-4
  • The other major sources used for this podcast are:
    • Velasco, Sherry. 2000. The Lieutenant Nun: Transgenderism, Lesbian Desire and Catalina de Erauso. University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-78746-4
    • Velasco, Sherry. 2011. Lesbians in Early Modern Spain. Vanderbilt University Press, Nashville. ISBN 978-0-8265-1750-0

This topic is discussed in one or more entries of the Lesbian Historic Motif Project here:

Links to the Lesbian Historic Motif Project Online

Links to Heather Online


Major category: