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Affections of the heart: Female imagery and the notion of nation in nineteenth-century Mexico

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Chapter Summary

This essay examines the gendered imagery that was associated with such affections. As Mexico attempted to define and constitute itself as a nation, sovereignty, represented by the imagery of the king’s body, was replaced by a changing set of female images. Throughout the nineteenth century, this new corporeal imagery marked the shifting of the signifying site of sovereignty and represented an ongoing search to give visual focus to nationalist affections of the heart. French revolutionary rhetoric was derived from this scientific viewpoint and political understanding as “corporeal images were at the very center of the metaphoric language used to describe the revolution in progress.” Thus, female corporeal imagery was a critical element of expanding nationalist imagery in the early nineteenth century.

Keywords: female images; Mexico; nationalist affections; nineteenth century



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