Herman L. Bennett F'06

Herman L. Bennett
Professor
History
City University of New York, The Graduate Center

Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowships for Recently Tenured Scholars 2006
Associate Professor
History
Rutgers University-New Brunswick
An Early Modern Culture of Freedom: Afro-Christian Narratives in Absolutist New Spain, 1640-1750
For residence at the Institute for Advanced Study, School of Historical Studies during academic year 2006-2007

By the mid-sixteenth century, Africans outnumbered Spaniards in Mexico City--a demographic phenomenon that characterized the viceregal capital and spilled into the rural areas throughout the colonial period. A century later, New Spain was home both to the largest slave and free black populations in the Americas. Rather than ask what happened to Mexico's black population--a standard refrain from Latin American scholars--this project explores the black experience, slave and free, to ask fundamental questions about the meanings and experience of freedom in an era before liberalism.