Director-SHPR & History Professor
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Office: 541-737-9564

Milam Hall

Milam Hall 324

2520 SW Campus Way

2520 SW Campus Way
Corvallis, OR 97331
Ph.D. in History (University of California Berkeley, 2003)
  • Cultural and Historical Awareness

History of Race, Religion, Gender, Sexuality

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Affiliated with: 
Liberal Arts Admin
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My ongoing work examines sexuality, religion, legal history, and gender in Spain and the Iberian empires. My publications include books and essays on Afro-descended populations in Spanish America, focusing on Catholic brotherhoods and Jesuit proselytization. My scholarship has also explored transactional sex, honor, the history of emotions, fantasy, fashion, violence, witchcraft, sodomy, suicide, and penitential practices.

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Prof. von Germeten received her PhD from the University of California Berkeley in 2003 and was a Fellow at the Princeton Center for the Study of Religion in 2003 and 2004. She also has an MA in Spanish language literature and wrote a thesis on Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz's use of indigenous Mexican language and religion.

Germeten was affiliated with the Stanford University Center for Latin American Studies in 2008 and 2009.  She has contributed essays, reviews and articles to several edited volumes and journals, including Black Mexico, Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture, Colonial Latin American Historical Review, and Local Religion in Colonial Mexico. Prof. von Germeten is currently writing a manuscript on Spanish American sex workers from the 1560s to the 1810s, based on research in Spain, Mexico, and Colombia.

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Prof. von Germeten is currently working on a new book project, with the working title: Men with Lights: A History of an Early North American Police Force. Mexico City authorities attempted to create one of the first professional police forces in North America, with origins going back to the late medieval Spanish highway patrol (the santa hermandad). This book tells the story of the foot patrolmen who walked their beats on the streets of eighteenth-century Mexico City. Their key duties were maintaining the new street lighting, and arresting men and women for public drunkenness. These plebeian patrolmen functioned as street level enforcers of late colonial racial policies, while at the same time facing frequent violent resistance from the populace.

Dr. von Germeten's  fourth book Profit and Passion: Transactional Sex in Colonial Mexico, published by University of California Press, April 3, 2018 is available for  preorder. Listen to an interview with Dr. Nicole von Germeten about her book on New Books Network.
Dr. von Germeten's  third book Violent Delights, Violent Ends: Sex, Honor, and Witchcraft in Colonial Colombia came out with University of New Mexico Press in 2013.

Her second book is a translation of Alonso de Sandoval's 1627 guide for missionaries working with African slaves in colonial Colombia, titled De Instauranda Aethiopum Salute.

Hackett Pub Co (March 14, 2008)

Her first book, Black Blood Brothers, based on work in more than 20 Mexican archives, describes the social and religious life of Africans in Mexico, using documentation from more than 60 Afromexican brotherhoods.

University Press of Florida; 1st edition
(May 30, 2006)

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

University of New Mexico Press (December 1, 2017)

Essay: 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

Essay: 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; Edición: 1 (December 1, 2012)

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


Afro-Latino Voices: Narratives from the Early Modern Ibero-Atlantic World, 1550-1812

Hackett (November 15, 2009)

Essay: 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 (September 1, 2009)

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

Local Religion in Colonial Mexico (Diálogos Series)

University of New Mexico Press (May 1, 2006)

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