I teach colonial Latin American history at Boston College, with a particular interest in the broader Spanish empire and the meeting points between history and fiction.

My current historical work follows two paths. First, I am working on the fascinating case of Juana Aguilar, an intersex person tried by the secular authorities in El Salvador and Guatemala between 1792 and 1801. I’m currently working on the translation of this case so that readers in English can have access to this eye-opening case.

In related but separate work, I’m researching  policing and social order in late-colonial Guatemala. This project is based on criminal cases from the Archivo General de Centroamérica, in Guatemala City. The criminal cases show striking connections between racialized policing and economic policy. In particular, policing in this period started focusing heavily on “vagancia,” the crime of non-work. My project examines how policing assisted in the creation of racial categories and the enforcement of Bourbon economic priorities.

More broadly, my research looks at the history of documents, the period of Bourbon reforms in the eighteenth century, and the history of empire.