Associate Dean

Bexell Hall

Bexell Hall 200

2251 SW Campus Way

2251 SW Campus Way
Corvallis, OR 97331
Ph.D. in History from the University of California/Berkeley

Profile Field Tabs

Affiliated with: 
Liberal Arts Admin
Research/Career Interests: 


A specialist in Latin American History, Nicole von Germeten's first book was Black Blood BrothersConfraternities and Social Mobility for Afro-Mexicans (University Press of Florida, 2006). Drawn from more than 20 Mexican archives, this pioneering work describes the social and religious life of Africans in Mexico, using documentation from more than 60 Afro-Mexican brotherhoods, most of which had never before been documented in an academic book. For reviews see: Journal of Latin American StudiesBulletin of Latin American ResearchThe Latin AmericanistThe AmericasThe American Historical ReviewReligious Studies ReviewConfraternitasLatin American PerspectivesHispanic American Historical ReviewThe Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology among others.

Prof. von Germeten has received funding from the Ford Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, the Fulbright Garcia Robles Scholarship, and the Muriel McKevitt Sonne Endowment for her doctoral studies at the University of California/Berkeley. She was a Fellow at the Princeton Center for the Study of Religion in 2004 (Theme: Women and Religion in the African Diaspora) and was affiliated with the Stanford University Center for Latin American Studies in 2008 and 2009.  She has written nearly 100 books, essays, reviews, and articles for edited volumes, online resources, and articles in academic journals, including two book-length translations. Currently, she is co-editing two books: a Bloomsbury Global History of Sexuality with Nina Kushner; and an essay collection on Afro-Mexican History in the Nineteenth Century for Cambridge University Press with Theodore Cohen. Her sixth monograph (in progress) is entitled One of Those Actresses: Josepha Ordóñez and the History of Eighteenth-Century Mexican Theater.

Currently as Associate Dean in the College of Liberal Arts and previously as Director of the School of History, Philosophy and Religion since 2017, Prof. von Germeten works hard to increase outreach, access to OSU’s degree programs, and innovate OSU’s curriculum. Her ongoing administrative work includes administering the Marine Studies Degree.

Prof. von Germeten inaugurated an African Diaspora-focused speaker series in Fall of 2020. She led the creation of two new degrees: Applied Humanities which has been recognized by OSU’s 2022 Office of Institutional Diversity State of Diversity Address for Creating an Inclusive University Climate to Support the Retention and Success of All Students and Employees. The second degree program that Prof. von Germeten organized is a Master’s Degree in History which welcomed its first cohort in the Fall of 2021. In 2022, Prof. von Germeten won an OSU E-Campus Research Grant to create a highly interactive class called Crime in History, based on archival case studies from her scholarship.

Select Publications



One night in 1789, three men used machetes to slaughter 11 innocent people in their home. The killers then stole a fortune in silver. This book translates a fictionalization of what the classic nineteenth-century novelist José de Cuéllar viewed as The Sin of the Century.


In 2023, Cambridge University Press published Death in Old Mexico: The 1789 Dongo Murders and How they Shaped the History of a Nation. According to Matthew Restall, ‘The title of this stunningly original new book barely hints at the complex creativity awaiting the reader."

Media and Reviews: New Books NetworkJames Renner's True Crime this Week, and Hispanic American Historical Review

In recreating this paper trail of Enlightenment-era greed and savagery, this book begins with a brutal massacre of eleven men and women by three killers armed with machetes on the night of October 23, 1789. We can still learn from Mexico's “crime of the century.”

The Enlightened Patrolman: Early Law Enforcement in Mexico City

University of Nebraska Press, 2022

Media and Reviews: Journal of Global South StudiesNew Books Network, Latin American History Podcast, Journal of Social HistoryThe Americas.

Advance reviews:

“Veritable intellectual dynamite—bursting with insights into colonial Mexico’s class and caste structures; exploding with new interpretations on criminality, law, poverty, and social order; and igniting new conversations on the linkages between surveillance, urban control, race, justice, and the Enlightenment. A masterwork of historical scholarship, The Enlightened Patrolman finely represents social history at its best.”—Ben Vinson III, author of Before Mestizaje: The Frontiers of Race and Caste in Colonial Mexico

“A richly textured reconstruction of the lowliest agents of late colonial order. . . . Combining small stories and a broad perspective, Germeten offers the first chapter of Mexico’s long history of resistance and negotiation of police power.”—Pablo Piccato, author of A History of Infamy: Crime, Truth, and Justice in Mexico

“An outstanding book that will help to reshape our understanding of early modernity in the Spanish New World as well as the social and cultural history of race and gender in one of the great urban centers of the time.”—William B. Taylor, author of Magistrates of the Sacred: Priests and Parishioners in Eighteenth-Century Mexico

Profit and Passion: Transactional Sex in Colonial Mexico

University of California Press, 2018

Media and Reviews: New Books NetworkJournal of Social History, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, The Americas, The American Historical Review

This gender-focused book investigates transactional sex in Spain and Mexico from the medieval era to the nineteenth century through the theoretical lens of recent sex work activism. 

Violent Delights, Violent Ends: Sex, Honor, and Witchcraft in Colonial Colombia 

University of New Mexico Press, 2013

This book brings to life the dangers of women exerting their sexual agency in Colombia from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, focused on true stories of erotic magic, honor killings, and both satisfied and frustrated desires.

A Treatise on Slavery by Alonso de Sandoval (1627)

Hackett, 2008

A translation of a missionary guide for working with African slaves in colonial Colombia and one of the first book-length accounts of the Atlantic Slave Trade.

Black Blood Brothers: Confraternities and Social Mobility for Afro-Mexicans

University Press of Florida, 2006

Reviews: Journal of Latin American Studies, Bulletin of Latin American Research, The Latin Americanist, The Americas, The American Historical Review, Religious Studies Review, Confraternitas, Latin American Perspectives, Hispanic American Historical Review, The Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology among others.

Drawn from more than 20 Mexican archives, this pioneering work describes the social and religious life of Africans in Mexico, using documentation from more than 60 Afro-Mexican brotherhoods, most of which had never before been documented in an academic book.

Imagining Histories of Colonial Latin America: Synoptic Methods and Practices (Religions of the Americas Series)

University of New Mexico Press, 2017

"Making Sense of Geographies - Regionalism in the Study of Latin American History"

The Black Urban Atlantic in the Age of the Slave Trade

University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013

"Black Brotherhoods in Mexico City"

Redes de Nación y Espacios de poder: La comunidad irlandesa en España y la América Española, 1600-1825

Ministerio de Defensa, 2012

"Who was Captain Cornelio Cornelius? Dying for honor on the old Spanish Main"


Afro-Latino Voices: Narratives from the Early Modern Ibero-Atlantic World

Hackett, 2009

"Juan Roque’s Donation of a House to the Zape Confraternity, Mexico City, 1623"

Black Mexico: Race and Society from Colonial to Modern Times (Diálogos Series)

University of New Mexico Press, 2009

"Colonial Middle Men? Mulatto Identities in New Spain’s Confraternities"

Local Religion in Colonial Mexico (Diálogos Series)

University of New Mexico Press, 2006

"Routes to Respectability Confraternities and Men of African Descent in New Spain"

Recent Essays

Beyond OSU