Director-SHPR & History Professor

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

Profile Field Tabs

Affiliated with: 
Liberal Arts Admin
Research/Career Interests: 



Nicole von Germeten, a professor of Latin American History at Oregon State University, has worked as the Director of the School of History, Philosophy, and Religious studies since 2017. She received her PhD from the University of California Berkeley in 2003 with research funded by the Fulbright Garcia Robles Scholarship and the Muriel McKevitt Sonne Endowment. She was a Fellow at the Princeton Center for the Study of Religion in 2004 and was affiliated with the Stanford University Center for Latin American Studies in 2008 and 2009.  She has contributed essays, reviews, and articles to close to sixty edited volumes and academic journals. She has published three single-authored books and one edited book-length translation since 2006, most recently Profit and Passion: Transactional Sex in Colonial Mexico (California, 2018). Her fifth book, coming out in 2022 with the University of Nebraska Press, The Enlightened Patrolman: The Early History of Law Enforcement in Mexico City, examines how the Spanish viceroys attempted to modernize policing to suppress popular revolt and to curb what they viewed as an out-of-control drinking culture. This book focuses on the perspective of the men walking the beat. Her previous publications range in topics from sexuality, religion, legal history, and gender in Spain and the Iberian empires, to Afro-descended populations in Spanish America, Catholic brotherhoods and Jesuit proselytization. Her scholarship has also explored transactional sex, honor, violence, witchcraft, sodomy, and suicide. She is currently writing a manuscript entitled Death in Old Mexico: the 1789 Dongo Murders and a translation from Spanish to English of an 1869 novel which focuses on the same case. Her next project will delve into the human sacrifice/cannibalism series of crimes in late 1980s Mexico, especially their framing as a candomblé-influenced ritual. 


Select Publications

The Enlightened Patrolman: Early Law Enforcement in Mexico City tells the story of the night watchmen 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.

Profit and Passion: Transactional Sex in Colonial Mexico (University of California Press, 2018), investigates sex work in Spain and Mexico from the medieval era to the nineteenth century. Listen to an interview with Dr. Nicole von Germeten about her book on New Books Network.
 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, 2008).

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, 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