Last August 2018, I organized a public evening of conversations in Bogotá in Libreria Luvina entitled “Histories From the Margins in the Past and the Present,” which brought together various researchers from different disciplines to discuss how they research, write, and or teach histories of the present or the past from the perspectives of those who have often been marginalized or forgotten. See below for the introductory remarks (in Spanish) that I delivered at the event, and for a visual register of the evening through photos taken by Andres Vargas.
Abstract: Hundreds of Castilian free black men and women obtained royal travel licenses to cross the Atlantic in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries as black Old Christians. They settled across the Spanish Indies and developed trades as artisans, traders, sailors, healers, and small business owners, often becoming prominent and wealthy vecinos (residents). Exploring these often obscure and long-invisible biographies of individuals, the article revisits key historiographical debates about race, purity of blood, and vassalage in the early Spanish empire.