JCB Fellow's Talk: Nora Jaffary

Date/Time: 
February 21, 2018 - 4:00pm

Nora Jaffary (Concordia University), John Carter Brown Library Associates Fellow

"Dispensing Justice in Late Colonial Mexico"

Confrontations with alcaldes, members of the local judiciary, were the most direct encounters many subjects ever experienced with Spanish imperialism in the later colonial period. Scholars have long portrayed alcaldes as corrupt, arbitrary, and ignorant of the law. This presentation draws from legal treatises, state directives, and individual criminal cases housed in both the John Carter Brown Library’s collection and in Mexican judicial archives to re-examine the nature of the justice dispensed in colonial Mexico and in the era of transition to the post-independence state. Is the established interpretation of the Mexican colonial judiciary apt? How did the judiciary persuade colonial populations of its efficacy? And how did alcaldes and their judicial superiors manage the transition to a post-colonial state whose rhetoric celebrated the severance with colonial institutions?  

The Reading Room will close to researchers at 3:30 pm.