Unnatural Desires and Transgressive Fantasies: José Ignacio Eyzaguirre’s General Confession and the Knowledge of the Body, 1799–1804

Friday, January 6, 2017: 10:50 AM
Mile High Ballroom 1B (Colorado Convention Center)
Martin Bowen, New York University Abu Dhabi
This talk analyzes the sins of a young Chilean aristocrat, José Ignacio Eyzaguirre, through his personal notes. The study of this archive of sins reveals that during the late colonial era there was an intimate relationship between the will to know more about the body and the unnatural sins. As a result, Eyzaguirre’s confession reveals a list of heterodox taboos and fantasies, such as looking at women’s feet, desiring a beautiful penis, or desiring unnatural abilities such as being able to perform oral sex on himself. In Eyzaguirre’s experimentations with his body, the limits of the natural body were constantly challenged, and the unnatural appeared as the result of the very will to know more about nature.