Karen Melvin, Chair
Pettengill Hall, Room 123
Latin American Studies
B.A., Boston University; Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
I came to Bates in 2005 as the historian who specializes in Latin America, and I teach courses that attempt to give broad coverage of this region, including:
- History 181: Latin American History: from the Conquest to the Present
- History 279: The Age of Independence in Latin America
- History 282: The City in Latin America
- History 390H: The Mexican Revolution
- History/Religion 390Y: The Spanish Inquisition
I am also a member of the Latin American Studies Program [http://www.bates.edu/latin-american-studies]
My research centers on colonial Latin America, especially Mexico, but radiates out to the early modern, especially Catholic, world. I’m particularly interested in links across this world and how contemporaries viewed that world and their part in it. I wrote a book about a set of particularly influential organizations in colonial Mexican society, mendicant orders. This book, Building Colonial Cities of God, tracks the roles of friars in cities, examining the contributions of different orders in the creation of urban culture.
I am on leave during 2013-14 so I can research a history of alms collected in the Americas and returned to Europe for use in charitable projects in North Africa and Palestine.
Some recent publications