Histories of Sexual Violence in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Latin America: An Introduction
Objective/Context: This article explains why current events demand the exploration of histories of sexual violence, setting the four pieces that comprise this special issue in their broader historiographical and social context. Despite the important body of work that has been produced to date exploring issues related to gender and sexuality in this region during the nineteenth and twentieth century, sexual violence remains severely understudied. Methodology: Linking to protests against sexual and gender-based violence and harassment in Brazil and internationally since the mid-2010s, such as the global #MeToo campaign in 2017, the article reviews current scholarship on histories of sexual violence. Originality: This special issue represents a valuable collection of essays specifically devoted to the history of sexual violence in Latin America during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The article demonstrates why this is such a pressing issue for historians to consider in 2022 and contextualises the following contributions. Conclusions: There is an urgent need for further research into the histories of sexual violence across different Latin American countries in later modernity, especially since the issues highlighted by all four authors—particularly related to gender, racial, and class discrimination and stereotyping that harm victims—remain relevant to contemporary experiences.