Recent Opportunities


The Franciscans in Mexico: Five Centuries of Cultural Influence

13-14 October 2017

Mexican Cultural Center, Washington, DC, USA

A Program of the Early Americas Working Group of Washington, D.C.

Generations of scholars have studied the multi-faceted experiences of the Franciscans in Mexico and the ways in which the Franciscan order shaped New Spain and the early Mexican republic. This conference examines the range of Franciscan influence and analyzes new scholarship that focuses on the multiple discourses with which friars engaged native peoples, creole populations, the vice-regal authorities, and other actors throughout the Spanish empire.  The conference brings together junior and senior scholars to study the long Franciscan experience in Mexico on the eve of the commemoration of the quincentenary of the Spanish—and thus the Franciscan—presence in Mexico.

The conference further honors the work of the eminent historian Fr. Francisco Morales, OFM, on the occasion of his eightieth birthday in September 2017.   Morales’s studies of the Franciscans in Mexico and his promotion of the field have encouraged the work of several generations of historians of colonial and nineteenth-century Mexico.  With this in mind, our program includes scholars whose research applies the methodologies of linguistic, social, and cultural history to the study of Nahua-Franciscan relations. Morales was one of the pioneers of this interdisciplinary approach during his years as a scholar at the Academy of American Franciscan History and in subsequent years as director of the Biblioteca Franciscana in San Pedro Cholula, Mexico (the library is housed in the Convento de San Gabriel, one of the first Franciscan churches in Mexico).

All sessions are free of charge and open to the public.

Keynote Speaker:  Jaime Lara, Arizona State University

Organizers:  Thomas M. Cohen, The Catholic University of America; Jay T. Harrison, Hood College; David Rex Galindo, Max Planck Institute for European Legal History

Contributors:  Pedro Ángeles Jiménez, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México; Rose Marie Beebe, Santa Clara University; Steven W. Hackel, University of California, Riverside; Hilaire Kallendorf, Texas A&M University; Kristin Dutcher Mann, University of Arkansas, Little Rock; Karen Melvin, Bates College; Verónica Murillo Gallegos, Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas; Manuel Ramos Medina, Centro de Estudios de Historia de México CARSO, Mexico City; Mathew Restall, Pennsylvania State University; Robert Senkewicz, Santa Clara University; Cecilia Sheridan, Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social, Unidad Noreste, Monterrey; José Refugio de la Torre Curiel, Universidad de Guadalajara/Colegio de Jalisco; Jonathan Truitt, Central Michigan University

Major Sponsors: Jay I. Kislak Foundation; Academy of American Franciscan History

Institutional Sponsors:  Omohundro Institute for Early American History and Culture, College of William and Mary; Shirley Connor Hardinge Center for Global and International Studies, Hood College; Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University

Partners:  Early Americas Working Group of Washington, D.C.; Mexican Cultural Institute, Washington, D.C.; Library of Congress; National History Center

SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Fund at The Chicago Community Foundation for its operating support.
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