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Empires of Love: Europe, Asia, and the Making of Early Modern Identity by Carmen Nocentelli (review)

Empires of Love: Europe, Asia, and the Making of Early Modern Identity by Carmen Nocentelli (review) Reviews n o c e n t e l l i , c a r m e n . Empires of Love: Europe, Asia, and the Making of Early Modern Identity. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 2013. ix 262 pp. In this wide-ranging yet no less rigorously argued study, Carmen Nocentelli proposes that the early modern concepts of sexuality and race proceeded from contextually and historically contingent constructs. Rather than viewing them as parallel categories, she posits that both developed from an extended continuum of interrelated social practices and discourses that revolved around religion, culture, geography, and contemporary biophysiological notions. Her main focus, however, is the European obsession with sexual difference, and its resultant transformation into racial distinctions. In response to the question of how sexual propriety, as perceived in the early modern period, inflected what was ascribed to racial difference, and vice versa, Nocentelli analyzes a profusion of texts--mainly chronicles and treatises, but also epic poems, plays, and a picaresque novel--that classified systems of race and erotic desire during the period of European overseas expansion. With a nuanced nod to anthropologist Elizabeth Povinelli's The Empire of Love: Toward a Theory of Intimacy, Genealogy, and Carnality, and its http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Hispanic Review University of Pennsylvania Press

Empires of Love: Europe, Asia, and the Making of Early Modern Identity by Carmen Nocentelli (review)

Hispanic Review , Volume 82 (2)

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 University of Pennsylvania Press.
ISSN
1553-0639
Publisher site
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Abstract

Reviews n o c e n t e l l i , c a r m e n . Empires of Love: Europe, Asia, and the Making of Early Modern Identity. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 2013. ix 262 pp. In this wide-ranging yet no less rigorously argued study, Carmen Nocentelli proposes that the early modern concepts of sexuality and race proceeded from contextually and historically contingent constructs. Rather than viewing them as parallel categories, she posits that both developed from an extended continuum of interrelated social practices and discourses that revolved around religion, culture, geography, and contemporary biophysiological notions. Her main focus, however, is the European obsession with sexual difference, and its resultant transformation into racial distinctions. In response to the question of how sexual propriety, as perceived in the early modern period, inflected what was ascribed to racial difference, and vice versa, Nocentelli analyzes a profusion of texts--mainly chronicles and treatises, but also epic poems, plays, and a picaresque novel--that classified systems of race and erotic desire during the period of European overseas expansion. With a nuanced nod to anthropologist Elizabeth Povinelli's The Empire of Love: Toward a Theory of Intimacy, Genealogy, and Carnality, and its

Journal

Hispanic ReviewUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

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