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 research project focuses on policing and social order in late-colonial Guatemala. It’s based on criminal cases from the Archivo General de Centroamérica, in Guatemala City. These criminal cases show fascinating 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.