- Assistant Professor
- University of California, Santa Cruz
Where Nomads and Mapmakers Meet: Rethinking Borderlands from the Río de la Plata, 1700-1805
This dissertation assesses the impact of imperial mapping upon interethnic relations. It examines two Luso-Hispanic mapping expeditions sent to determine a border between the south of Brazil and Spanish South America during the second half of the eighteenth century. As mapmakers walked and drew a dividing line between the two imperial realms, they disrupted indigenous and early-modern ways of organizing space. The idea of a border drove Iberian administrators to abandon old practices of pact-making with mobile native peoples in favor of aggressive settlement and extermination campaigns. At the same time, Charrúas, Minuanes, and other native peoples began to move back and forth across the border to develop new trade networks and to gain harbor from imperial attacks.
Empires of Exile: Banishment in the Ibero-American Colonial Worlds
During the 1700s, Ibero-American colonial governments exiled thousands of convicts to contested borderlands, while simultaneously banishing Indigenous captives from those borderlands to distant forts or island penal colonies. Bringing together prison and borderlands studies, this project examines the sociospatial logics of exile and penal colonization and social groups whose connections to such practices have been understudied. It argues that the rise of convict transportation was intimately tied to the colonial production of political borders, as banishment became a means of distinguishing spaces of colonial law from extrajuridical spaces via the movement of racialized bodies. Balancing imperial frameworks with local cases, it articulates this process and the agency of those who were exiled.