— M.A. Latin American Studies, California State University, San Diego
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My dissertation project titled, “Sexual Borderlands: Social-Racial Relationships in the Northeastern Region of the Spanish Empire, 1680-1800,” examines the ways secular and religious officials, as well as community members themselves, monitored, judged, punished, and at times also disregarded and even condoned certain sexual transgressions. Nestled along the Texas branch of the Camino Real, The Camino Real de los Tejas, communities like Parras de la Fuente Coahuila, San Antonio de Bexar, Nacogdoches and the Presidio Los Adaes at the Texas-Louisiana border, lived on the frontier, separated from the power center in Mexico City, by more than 800 miles. The paper trails of these charges license the opportunity to read, first-hand, about late seventeenth and early eighteenth century social-racial relations.
The complexity of intimate relationships, the private versus public, the considered romantic and quixotic versus the assumed unlawful and immoral, surface from these proceedings. Such scrutiny of certain people’s personal lives, serves as a window into complicated love affairs, friendships, and feuds fueled by gossip, drama and a desire for justice. I use these remnants of history as an avenue for understanding the real or perceived levels of social control as well as the efficacy of authorities in this borderland outskirt of the Spanish empire, to maintain “idealized gender and ethnic roles and relationships.”
 Deeds Susan M. “Subverting Social Order: Gender, Power, and Magic in Nueva Vizcaya” in De la Teja, J. Frank and Ross Frank, Eds. Choice, Persuasion, and Coercion: Social Control in Spain’s North American Frontiers. University of New Mexico Press, 2005, 96.
The words I live by: "There is a finite amount of time for each of us to do what we are meant to do. And no where is it written we should not be happy." - Robin Roberts