Associate Professor of Colonial Studies. She received her Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley in 2004, and before returning to the Bay Area in 2009, she taught at the University of Michigan. Her research and teaching make connections between the past and the present which try to show the relevance of the colonial period for an understanding of contemporary times. She was co-director of the Berkeley research group “Mexico and the Rule of Law.” She has written a book and a series of articles on the Jesuits (José de Acosta and Loyola, and Jesuits in the northern borderlands of New Spain) as a particularly influential politico-religious order that served modernization and the expansion of the Spanish empire.
She is currently working on the drainage of the lakes of Mexico City, and on the role of the colonization of Spanish America from the 15th century onward in the development of new epistemologies and political theories. In the latter she is exploring the ways in which both the unprecedented violence of conquest and colonization, and the need for effective administration of the colonies, brought about important theoretical, technological, and epistemological changes which may have been conceived to be put in place in the colonies, but which in the long run transformed the way Europe understood and fashioned itself.
Escribiendo desde los márgenes: colonialismo y jesuitas en el siglo XVIII. México: Siglo XXI Editores, 2009. Print.
“Playing with Fire: Mestizaje Run Amok.” Josefina Saldaña and Simón Ventura, Eds. Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies. 46.2 (Fall 2021): 197 – 210.
Co-editor with Anna More, Rachel O’Toole. Iberian Empires and the Roots of Globalization. Minnesota: Hispanic Issues-Vanderbilt U.P. 2020. Print.
“A New Moses: Vasco de Quiroga’s Hospitals and the Transformation of “Indians” from “Bárbaros” to “Pobres.” Iberian Empires and the Roots of Globalization. Minnesota: Hispanic Issues -Vanderbilt U.P. 2020. 47-73. Print.
“Theoretical Constructs: Edmundo O’Gorman and Juan O’Gorman, Indigenous Populations, and the Colonial Question.” Abraham Acosta, (ed.) Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies, 6.1 (2018): 17 – 38. Print.
“Moving across Disciplines: Context, Theory and Colonial Sources.” Karen Melvin and Sylvia Sellers-García, Ed. Imagining Histories of Colonial Latin America. Synoptic Methods and Practices. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2017. 63-78. Print.
Co-editor, with Pedro Palou, Cardenismo: auge y caída de un legado político y social. Boston: Revista de Crítica Literaria Latinoamericana, 2017. Print. http://as.tufts.edu/romancestudies/rcll/pdfs/Cardenismo_completo.pdf
“Del mito al proyecto de nación: lucha de clases y un cardenismo más allá de Cárdenas” (With Pedro Palou). Cardenismo: auge y caída de un legado político y social. Boston: Revista de Crítica Literaria Latinoamericana, 2017. 9 – 29. Print.
“Loa to El divino Narciso: the Perils of Critiquing the Conquest.” Emily Bergmann and Stacey Schlau, Ed. Research Companion to the Works of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. New York: Routledge, 2017. 214-226.
“Jesuit Enlightenment: Interventions in Christianity and Intellectualism.” Anna Nogar, José Ramón Ruisánchez and Ignacio Sánchez-Prado (ed.) A History of Mexican Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2016. 81 – 96. Print.
“José de Acosta: Colonial Regimes for a Globalized Christian World.” Santa Arias and Raúl Marrero Fente (ed.) Coloniality, Religion and the Law in the Early Iberian World. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press. 2014. 3 – 26. Print.
“From José de Acosta to the Enlightenment: Barbarians, Climate Change and (Colonial) Technology as the End of History.” Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation 54.4 (2013): 435-459. Print.
“José de Acosta, Violence and Rhetoric: the Emergence of Colonial Baroque.” Crystal Chemris (ed.) Calíope: Transatlantic Baroque 18.2 (2013): 46 – 72. Print.