— M.A. Latin American Studies, California State University, San Diego
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Office Hours: Fall 2014 & Spring 2015: On Fellowship
My dissertation, “Sex, Deviance, and Drama: Socio-Racial Relationships in the Texas-Coahuila Borderlands, 1716-1821” draws on a compilation of some 300 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.
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.