Sonya Lipsett-Rivera

Sonya Lipsett-Rivera (Ph.D. Tulane University) is Senior Lecturer in the History Department at Carleton University in Canada. Her works focus on gender, violence, space, the body, and emotions in New Spain and in Mexico in the 19th century. She is currently working on masculinity in New Spain as principal investigator for a project of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada entitled "The Origins of Macho: Men and Masculinity in Colonial Mexico."


Main publications:

Among my most relevant publications are books on gender in Mexico including Gender and the Negotiation of Daily Life in Mexico, 1750-1856, (2012) and The Origins of Macho: Men and Masculinity in Colonial Mexico  (2019) and I have co-edited the anthologies The Faces of Honor: Sex, Shame, and Violence in Colonial Latin America (1998) and Emotions and Daily Life in Colonial Mexico (2014). I have also published articles and chapters in other publications.

Research Project as a fellow of CALAS:

Title: Cycles of violence and gender: moments of conflict in Latin America as a generator of gender identity.


Latin American nations were generated in moments of violence; these moments were transcendental for the creation of an identity not only national but also gender. The conquest was a type of melting pot that established norms of behavior for indigenous men and women and was forming identity tropes such as the charro, the llanero, the sertanejo, the china, and others that after independence, in many cases, were transformed into mythologies and symbols of the nation. In my work as a fellow, I will explore the connection between these moments of violence and the way in which the nation was identified with ideas of gender (the fatherland as an example) but also as in moments of transition and uncertainty, the identities of the genre were fitting into prototypes. Social anxiety provoked a construction of gender identities within specific moments from the colony to the end of the 19th century.