Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Queer Atmospheres and Festive Male Travesties in XX Century Modernizing Mexico City

March 12 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Join us for a talk with Gabriela Cano who will talk about Queer Atmospheres and Festive Male Travesties in XX Century Modernizing Mexico City.

The talk will be held on March 12th from 6 PM to 8 PM in room 802 of the International Affairs Building – 420 West 118th Street.

Gabriela Cano is a historian of twentieth century Mexico. She is based in Mexico City where she is Professor at El Colegio de México. Her publications focus on the history of gender and sexualities in Mexico. She has authored Se llamaba Elena Arizmendi (Tusquets, 2010) and coauthored Amalia de Castillo Ledón. Entre las letras, el poder y la diplomacia (Ciudad Victoria, 2016). She coedited Historia de las mujeres en España y América Latina (Madrid, Cátedra, 2006) Gender, power and politics in Modern Mexico (Duke University Press, 2006). Her research has appeared in journals and edited volumes published in Mexico, the United States, Spain and Brazil. Her current interests include the history of feminism and in Mexico and Latin America. She has served as director of the Gender Studies Program at El Colegio de México and has held visiting academic positions at Stanford University and Columbia University.  During the 2019 Spring  semester she is Tinker Visiting Professor at ILAS.

The talk will present the story of balmoreadas, parties that took place in private homes in Mexico City in the late nineteen twenties with the purpose of giving a moral lesson to ambitious persons, who would break commitments and convictions to secure economic or practical benefits. The hoax gravitated around Carlos Balmori, a false Spanish millionaire who offered large sums of money to people that pleased him. Balmori performed a paternal upper-class masculinity and teased both men and women with his offerings. In fact, Balmori was a mature woman named Concepcion Jurado who participated in a hoax organized by a group of writers and journalists. Balmoreadas were a well-known fact in twentieth century Mexican lettered culture. Numerous newspaper accounts and books were published on Balmori and his famous hoaxes; however, none of them mention the fact that gay men and female transvestites attended the gatherings. Neither have they suggested that Concepcion Jurado can be read as a transvestite woman or as a lesbian that enjoyed performing masculinity. Prof. Cano posit that Balmoreadas can be considered as part of the history of Mexican queerness. The existing narrative privileges effeminate men and feminine transvestites as the privileged subjects of a narrative that has focused on male homosocial sites such as transvestite balls (the famous 41) or prisons.


March 12
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


802 International Affairs Building
420W 118th Street
New York, NY 10027 United States
+ Google Map