History Department
History Department

Lizeth Elizondo

M.A. Latin American Studies, California State University, San Diego, B.A. & B.S. California State University, Chico.

Ph.D. Candidate
Lizeth Elizondo



Colonial Latin American History, Family History, Women, Gender, Religion, Sexuality, Mexican-American history, the Spanish Colonial Borderlands (Texas/Louisiana/Northern Mexico regions).


My dissertation, “Sex, Deviance, and Drama: Socio-Racial Relationships in the Texas-Coahuila Borderlands, 1716-1821” draws on a compilation of criminal court cases from the region of Coahuila and Texas to investigate the ways secular and religious officials, as well as community members, monitored, judged, punished, and also disregarded and condoned  sexual transgressions. Coahuila and Texas were sister frontier regions and the archival record displays the interlace of their social, economic, and law enforcement networks. People shared extramarital and clandestine sexual encounters that included cohabitation, bigamy, incest, adultery, rape, and broken promises of matrimony. These were, in theory, under both the civil and ecclesiastical jurisdictions, judged as both unlawful and considered criminal offenses. Although local practices and punishments varied, transgressors still risked being treated as criminals and eventually jailed and punished with fines, exile, and social embarrassment. My project explores the mechanisms of the colonial legal system as it functioned on the frontier, the recourses available to the defendants, as well as the social, cultural, and the religious milieu of those living under Spanish rule.

During the Fall 2015-Spring 2016 academic year, I am also the co-coordinator for the Gender Symposium. The symposium is a well established unit in the history department, now in its 13th year! The bi-weekly meetings offer a space for graduate students, professors and other visitors to critically engage with and present their work on historical approaches to the topics of gender and sexuality. All are welcomed to join us! Please email: gendersymposium@gmail.com with any questions or to be added to our listserv. 


My personal blog, "My Life's Footnotes" captures my journey through graduate school as a historian, a Mexican-American and a first-generation college student. There, I share anectdotes about archival research, my love-hate relationship with 18th century Spanish paleography, and other tips and tricks about life in general. 


Handbook of Texas Online Contributions

These are my contributions to the TSHA Handbook of Texas Online Tejano project: 

Maria Josefa Granados 

Francois LaBorde

 LaBorde House