Researching Afro-Andean Histories on the Coasts, in the Highlands, and in the Transatlantic and Transpacific

Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program (LACS) Seminar Series.

Co-sponsored: Department of History, Department of History of Art & Visual Studies

New colonial histories are being researched and written for the 1500s and 1600s to document the presence of people of the African Diaspora and explore their varied experiences in Iberia, the Peruvian highlands, and crossing the early Spanish Transpacific. Even where they were a minority of the local population or marginalized in the historical record, evidence of their actions and sometimes even their motivations can be located and analyzed.

Leo Garofalo is a History Professor at Connecticut College whose research draws attention to the central roles of Native Andeans, Afro-Peruvians, and enslaved and free Asians in shaping daily life within colonial cities. He uses the archives of the Spanish Inquisition in Madrid, Spain’s imperial bureaucracy in Seville, Rome’s Jesuit Archives, the local Church in Peru, and notaries and secular courts in Lima and Cuzco to uncover traces of the passage of the tens of thousands of West and Central Africans and hundreds of Asians forced into slavery and brought to the Andes in the 1500s and 1600s. His publications cover taverns, drinking, markets, seafaring and soldiering, the Afro-Iberian roots of Andean witchcraft, and the Atlantic, European, early trans-Pacific routes of the African and Asian Diasporas to the 16th- and 17th-century Andes. To support this research, he was recently awarded an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship for Library Company of Philadelphia and a NEH Research Fellowship at the Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies of St. Louis University.

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