Dr. Jessica Delgado is an Assistant Professor of Religion at Princeton University. Earning her PhD in Latin American History, Dr. Delgado focuses on the history of religion in Latin America- specifically in Mexico in the 17th and 18th centeries, and has research interests in women, gender, sexuality, the Catholic Church in colonial society, race, caste, and religion, and the intersection between social and spiritual status in the early modern world. She recently published first book, Laywomen and the Making of Colonial Catholicism in New Spain, 1630-1780 (May 2018), and is now working on her next book, currently titled The Beata of the Black Habit: Religious and Racial Anxieties in Late Colonial Mexico.
Dr. Delgado will be visiting The Ohio State University campus for her lecture, to discuss her latest research and book project on Wednesday, January 23rd from 3:45pm to 5:15pm in 168 Dulles Hall. The event is open to the public, so please join us!
María Anastasia Gonzales was a mystic; out of step with the elite religiosity of late eighteenth-century Bourbon reformers, but highly respected in her local community as a beata –a laywoman who lived under vows of celibacy and piety. When the Inquisition compelled her to testify against her former confessor for sexual misconduct, the content of her testimony—and the fact that she experienced ecstatic visions in the middle of it—drew the ire of local clergy and Inquisitors alike. Over the course of a thirteen-year investigation, trial, and post-humus inquisitorial debate, Gonzales got caught in the cross fire between religious authorities and became the focus of elite imperial anxieties. All the while, she insisted on the validity of her own religious experiences in the face of Inquisitors’ gendered and racialized depictions of her as arrogant, ignorant, or mentally deficient. This talk examines the extraordinary furor caused by one woman’s way of making sense of her confessor’s sexual exploitation to explore changes in religious culture, colonial power, and racialized ideologies of gender in late eighteenth-century Mexico.