Baptism Through Incision
The Postmortem Cesarean Operation in the Spanish Empire
Serie: Latin American Originals 15
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Inspired by priests' writings published in Spain and Sicily beginning in the mid-eighteenth century, Arrese and writers like him in Peru, Mexico, Alta California, Guatemala, and the Philippines penned local medico-religious manuals and guides for performing the operation and baptism. Comparing these texts to one another and placing them in dialogue with archival cases and print culture references, this book traces the genealogy of the postmortem cesarean operation throughout the Spanish Empire and reconstructs the transatlantic circulation of obstetrical and scientific knowledge around childbirth and reproduction. In doing so, it shows that knowledge about cesarean operations and fetal baptism intersected with local beliefs and quickly became part of the new ideas and scientific-medical advancements circulating broadly among transatlantic Enlightenment cultures.
A valuable resource for scholars and students of colonial Latin American history, the history of medicine, and the history of women, reproduction, and childbirth, Baptism Through Incision includes translated excerpts of works by Spanish surgeon Jaime Alcala y Martinez, Mexican physician Ignacio Segura, and Peruvian friar Francisco Gonzalez Laguna, as well as late colonial Guatemalan instructions, and newspaper articles published in the Gazeta de Mexico, the Gazeta de Guatemala, and the Mercurio Peruano.