Peter Sigal

Peter Sigal

Professor in the Department of History

External address: 
234 Classroom Building, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Box 90719, Durham, NC 27708-0719


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.” Ethnohistory, edited by Pete Sigal and John Chuchiak, vol. 54, Jan. 2007.

Sigal, Pete. “The Origins of Mexican Catholicism: Nahua Rituals and Christian Sacraments in Sixteenth-Century Mexico.” Colonial Latin American Review, vol. 16, no. 1, 2007, pp. 127–29.

Sigal, P. “NORA E. JAFFARY. False Mystics: Deviant Orthodoxy in Colonial Mexico. (Engendering Latin America.) Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. 2004. Pp. xvi, 257. $49.95.” The American Historical Review, vol. 111, no. 1, Oxford University Press (OUP), Feb. 2006, pp. 239–40. Crossref, doi:10.1086/ahr.111.1.239. Full Text

Sigal, Pete. “The Cuiloni, the Patlache, and the Abominable Sin: Homosexualities in Early Colonial Nahua Society.” Hispanic American Historical Review, vol. 85, no. 4, Duke University Press, Nov. 2005, pp. 555–93. Crossref, doi:10.1215/00182168-85-4-555. 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, vol. 14, 2003.

Sigal, P. “Gender, male homosexuality, and power in colonial Yucatán.” Latin American Perspectives, vol. 29, no. 2, Jan. 2002, pp. 24–40. Scopus, doi:10.1177/0094582X0202900202. Full Text Open Access Copy