Cook, Elusive networks? Analysing the lives of Moriscos enslaved in elite households in colonial Spanish America

22 Oct 2018, 17:15 to 22 Oct 2018, 19:15
IHR Past and Present Room, N202, Second Floor, IHR, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
Karoline P. Cook, Royal Holloway University of London

During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Muslims and converts from Islam known as Moriscos were prohibited from settling in Spain’s territories in the Western Hemisphere. Building on my previous research on Moriscos in the Iberian Atlantic world, this current project examines an array of petitions submitted to the Council of the Indies by Spanish colonial officials who sought to bring enslaved Morisco women and men to the Americas. My paper will suggest ways of analysing the trajectories of these individuals, primarily women, beyond the brief references in the petitions. I will examine how some Moriscos crossed the Atlantic and struggled to form part of colonial society, in some instances gaining their freedom, and how anxieties about their presence influenced debates over social status, citizenship, and belonging in colonial Spanish America.