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Indigenous and Black Confraternities in Colonial Latin America

Negotiating Status through Religious Practices

Javiera Jaque Hidalgo Miguel Valerio

408 pages
Amsterdam University Press
Employing a transregional and interdisciplinary approach, this volume explores indigenous and black confraternities –or lay Catholic brotherhoods– founded in colonial Spanish America and Brazil between the sixteenth and eighteenth century. It presents a varied group of cases of religious confraternities founded by subaltern subjects, both in rural and urban spaces of colonial Latin America, to understand the dynamics and relations between the peripheral and central areas of colonial society, underlying the ways in which colonialized subjects navigated the colonial domain with forms of social organization and cultural and religious practices. The book analyzes indigenous and black confraternal cultural practices as forms of negotiation and resistance shaped by local devotional identities that also transgressed imperial religious and racial hierarchies. The analysis of these practices explores the intersections between ethnic identity and ritual devotion, as well as how the establishment of black and indigenous religious confraternities carried the potential to subvert colonial discourse.
Author Bio
Javiera Jaque Hidalgo is an assistant professor of Spanish in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures in Virginia Tech. Her topic of research is the literature and culture of Colonial Latin America with a focus on Jesuit missions in Chile. More recently her research focus is on indigenous migration to urban spaces. She has published her research in A Contracorriente, Una revista de estudios latinoamericanos, Rocky Mountain Review, Revista Chilena de Literatura, and Revista Provinciana. Revista de literatura y pensamiento. She is currently working in her first monograph entitled Misiones Jesuitas en la Frontera de Arauco: Resistencia Mapuche, Negociación y Movilidad Cultural en la Periferia Colonial (1593-1641) , in which she analyzes the frontier dynamics among Mapuche people and Jesuit missionaries in the seventeenth century.Miguel A. Valerio is assistant professor of Spanish at Washington University in St. Louis. His research focuses on the African diaspora in the literatures and cultures of the early modern Iberian world, particularly Afro-confraternities’ festive practices. His work has appeared in Afro-Hispanic Review, Confraternitas, Slavery and Abolotion, Colonial Latin American Review and the Journal of Festive Studies. His book, Sovereign Joy: Afro-Mexican Kings and Queens, 1539-1640, which studies Afro-Mexican confraternities’ festive practices, will be published with Cambridge University Press in 2022.