Peter Sigal

Peter Sigal

Professor in the Department of History

External address: 
234 Carr, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Box 90719, Durham, NC 27708-0719
(919) 684-3551


The relationships between gender, sexuality, and colonialism have intrigued me since I began my first book on Maya sexuality. I recently completed a study on the interaction of writing and sexual representation in sixteenth and seventeenth-century Nahua societies--The Flower and the Scorpion: Sexuality and Ritual in Early Nahua Culture (Durham: Duke University Press, 2011); I am currently co-editing with Neil Whitehead a volume on “ethnopornography,” the relationship between the colonial and ethnographic gaze and sexuality throughout the world; and engaging in research on the position of the hyper-masculinized Aztec warrior in early modern literature from Europe and the Americas. I have moved from studying sexual desires in indigenous communities to examining the early modern cultural processes that created global concepts of modern sexuality, gender, masculinity, and femininity.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., University of California at Los Angeles 1995

  • M.A., University of California at Los Angeles 1992

  • B.A., Bucknell University 1986

Sigal, P. "Sexual Encounters/Sexual Collisions: Alternative Sexualities in Colonial Mesoamerica." Ed. P Sigal and J Chuchiak. Ethnohistory 54 (January 2007). (Journal volume)

Sigal, P. "False mystics: Deviant orthodoxy in Colonial Mexico." AMERICAN HISTORICAL REVIEW 111.1 (February 2006): 239-240. Full Text

Sigal, P. "The Cuiloni, the Patlache, and the abominable sin: Homosexualities in early colonial nahua society." HAHR-HISPANIC AMERICAN HISTORICAL REVIEW 85.4 (November 2005): 555-593. Full Text

Sigal, P. "Review of Gender and Sexuality in Latin America, special issue of Hispanic American Historical Review." Estudios Interdisciplinarios de America Latina y el Caribe 14 (2003). (Review)

Sigal, P. "Gender, male homosexuality, and power in colonial Yucatan." LATIN AMERICAN PERSPECTIVES 29.2 (March 2002): 24-40. Full Text Open Access Copy