Spanish and Portuguese ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 7-21-2017


This dissertation examines public and institutional perceptions of homosexuality in Mexico from the time of Porfirio Díaz’s dictatorship (c. 1880-1910) through the early twentieth-first century. In my introduction, I study diverse representations of the male homosexual as a monstrous figure in Western culture, taking as models gothic images that emerged in the late nineteenth-century as a response to the rise of scientism, industrialization, and urbanization. The models that I utilize include the literal and metaphorical cannibal, the anxiety-causing vampire, and the dehumanized depiction of those who transgress social boundaries of gender and race.

Taking an interdisciplinary approach drawing on critical theory, history, sociology, philosophy, gender studies, political science, and queer theory, I analyze a corpus of Mexican fiction with the objective of examining how homosexual characters are viewed as monstrosities by other characters and by society as a whole. For this purpose, the novels I examine in detail in my chapters are Los cuarenta y uno: novela crítico social (1906) written by Eduardo Castrejón; El vampiro de la colonia Roma (1979) by Luis Zapata; and Gumaro de Dios, el caníbal (2007) by Alejandro Almazán. Besides representing fictitious homosexual characters, these narratives base their storylines on historical events and circumstances contemporaneous to their writing, such as the raid of 41 alleged homosexuals by the Mexico City police in 1901, the sexual liberation of the 1970s, and the discovery in 2004 of a man with indigenous traits who cannibalized his male lover.

Degree Name

Spanish & Portuguese (PhD)

Level of Degree


Department Name

Spanish and Portuguese

First Committee Member (Chair)

López, Kimberle

Second Committee Member

López, Miguel

Third Committee Member

Santiago-Díaz, Eleuterio

Fourth Committee Member

Pérez, Daniel Enrique




vampires, cannibalism, queer theory, Mexican literature, monstrosity in Mexican literature, cultural studies

Document Type