Rodríguez 2014 Violence

Title Information


Author: Sofía Rodríguez López

Title: Corpus Delicti

Subtitle: Social Imaginiaries of Gendered Violence

In: Memory and Cultural History of the Spanish Civil War: Realms of Oblivion

Edited by: Aurora G. Morcillo

Place: Leiden and Boston

Publisher: Brill

Year: 2014

Pages: 359-400

Series: Series: History of Warfare 93

ISBN-13: 9789004259559 (hbk.) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-13: 9789004259966 (ebk.) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century | Spanish History | Types: Wartime Rape / Spanish Civil War



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Additional Information


Abstract: »Sofía Rodríguez López, in her chapter "Corpus Delicti: Social Imaginiaries of Gendered Violence« analyzes gendered repression in a diachronic analysis of wars in Spanish soil. Rodríguez López utilizes Goya's paintings and lithographs in her study as well as propaganda photographs to afford a brilliant allegorical interpretation of key war experiences in collective/historical memory. She proceeds to relate iconography and "iconología" (painting, photographs, and oral testimonies) with the Francoist establishment's ideological backdrop of the binary whore/virgin to justify its gendered violence. Rodríguez López first examines the parallel tropes present in both the representation of women in the Spanish War for Independence (1804-14) and the Civil War (1936-39). The comparison of these two distant wars utilizing trauma and violence as their coherent commonality shows the fruitful application of diachronic analysis when studying trauma and gender. Rodríguez López's analysis of the propaganda photographs exposes how protraying the most explicit violence, specifically rape, served as a call to repulsion not only of rape but of the demonization of the enemy perpetrating such violence. The bodies of women are hence doubly violated: first physically and then perpetually in the imaginary of war memories by fixing them into a photographic image. The chapter ends with a study of what Rodríguez López calls cultura de guerra (war culture) within sexual politics and everyday life in the immediate aftermath of the conflict. "Un montaje de imágenes y discoursos cuyo objetivo último es comprender la carga simbólica de dicha agresión sexual. Un acto que va más allá de la brutalización, porque no banaliza la muerte, sino que convierte este paradigma de vejación en resorte movilizador" ("A montage of images and discourses with the objective to understand the symbolism of such sexual violence. This is an act that goes beyond the brutalization, because it does not banalize death, but rather it turns this humiliating paradigm in a mobilizing propaganda tool" [my translation]). In the end she tells us this paradigmatic inhumanity thrives in a "framework of injustice" that legitimizes total war. Moreover, it is a means of male power not only over women but also over the male enemy - the other masculinity. In this sense the chapter complements the analysis of the battle for masculinity studied by Aresti and exemplified the objectification of women's bodies as crime's material evidence: "los cuerpos del delito (The Bodies of the Crime)."« [Aurora G. Morcillo. »Introduction: Post-Memory and Historical Agency.« Memory and Cultural History of the Spanish Civil War: Realms of Oblivion. Edited by Aurora G. Morcillo. Leiden 2014: 11]

Wikipedia: Spanish Civil War, War rape


Added: November 9, 2013 | Last updated: November 9, 2013