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. H., Neil Whitehead, Erika Robb Larkins, and Zeb Tortorici. Ethnopornography. University Press of Colorado, 2010.

Sigal, P. H., and James N. Green. Re-Gendering Latin America. Vol. 16, 2005.

Sigal, P. Infamous Desire: Male Homosexuality in Colonial Latin America. University of Chicago Press, 2003.

Sigal, P. “Sodomy.” In Lexikon of the Hispanic Baroque: Transatlantic Exchange and Transformation. University of Texas Press, 2013.

Sigal, P. “Colonial Reflections/Magical Imaginations: Pedro Lasch’s Tezcatlipoca.” In Black Mirror/Espejo Negro, edited by Pedro Lasch, 2010.

Sigal, P. “The Perfumed Man: Sacrifice, Penetration, and the Feminization of the Male Body in Sixteenth-Century Mesoamerica.” In Power, Gender, and Ritual in Europe and the Americas: Essays in Memory of Richard C. Trexler, edited by Peter Arnade and Michael Rocke, 299–316. Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, University of Toronto, 2008.

Sigal, P. “Sexuality in Maya and Nahuatl Sources.” In Sources And Methods for the Study of Postconquest Mesoamerican Ethnohistory, edited by James Lockhart, Lisa Sousa, and Stephanie Wood, 2007.

Sigal, P. “(Homo)Sexual Desire and Masculine Power in Colonial Latin America: Notes Toward an Integrated Analysis.” In Infamous Desire: Male Homosexuality in Colonial Latin America, edited by Pete Sigal. University of Chicago Press, 2003.

Sigal, P. “Gendered Power, the Hybrid Self, and Homosexual Desire in Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Yucatan.” In Infamous Desire: Male Homosexuality in Colonial Latin America, edited by Pete Sigal. University of Chicago Press, 2003.

Sigal, P. “In this issue.” Hahr  Hispanic American Historical Review 96, no. 3 (August 1, 2016): 415–19. Full Text

Sigal, P., M. Restall, S. Wood, and C. Pizzigoni. “James Lockhart (1933-2014).” Hispanic American Historical Review 95, no. 2 (January 1, 2015): 335–39. Full Text

Sigal, P. “Neil L. Whitehead (1956-2012).” Ethnohistory 59, no. 3 (July 1, 2012): 631–33. Full Text

Sigal, P. “Imagining Cihuacoatl: Mexica Masculinity and Spanish Colonization.” Gender & History 22 (November 2010): 538–63.

Sigal, Pete. “Latin America and the challenge of globalizing the history of sexuality..” The American Historical Review 114, no. 5 (December 2009): 1340–53. Full Text

Sigal, P. “The Memory of Bones: Body, Being, and Experience among the Classic Maya..” Hispanic American Historical Review 88, no. 2 (May 1, 2008): 302–3. Full Text

Sigal, P., and J. F. Chuchiak IV. “Ethnohistory: Guest Editors' Introduction.” Ethnohistory 54, no. 1 (December 1, 2007): 3–8. Full Text


Fall 2019

Colonial Latin America (HISTORY 326)
Class Bldg 242, WF 10:05 AM-11:20 AM
Latin American History (Top) (HISTORY 790S-02)
Class Bldg 229, W 06:15 PM-08:45 PM

Spring 2019

Sexual Pleasure/modern World (HISTORY 112)
East Duke 209, TuTh 11:45 AM-01:00 PM
History Of Sexuality (HISTORY 501S)
Art 102, Tu 03:05 PM-05:35 PM

Fall 2018

First-Year Seminar (Top) (HISTORY 89S)
Class Bldg 106, W 03:05 PM-05:35 PM

Spring 2018

Sexual Pleasure/modern World (HISTORY 112)
East Duke 209, TuTh 11:45 AM-01:00 PM
History Of Sexuality (HISTORY 501S)
White 201, Tu 03:05 PM-05:35 PM

Fall 2017

First-Year Seminar (Top) (HISTORY 89S)
Friedl Bdg 126, Th 03:05 PM-05:35 PM
Colonial Latin America (HISTORY 326)
East Duke 204D, TuTh 11:45 AM-01:00 PM

Spring 2017

Sexual Pleasure/modern World (HISTORY 112)
Soc/Psych 126, TuTh 11:45 AM-01:00 PM

Fall 2016

Colonial Latin America (HISTORY 326)
Carr 240, TuTh 11:45 AM-01:00 PM
Latin American History (Top) (HISTORY 790S-02)
Friedl Bdg 216, Tu 07:30 PM-10:00 PM

Spring 2015

Global History Of Sexuality (HISTORY 377)
Friedl Bdg 107, TuTh 01:25 PM-02:40 PM

Fall 2014

History Of Sexuality (HISTORY 501S)
Carr 241, Th 06:15 PM-08:45 PM

Spring 2014

Latin American History (Top) (HISTORY 790S-02)
Carr 229, Th 06:15 PM-08:45 PM