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Queen's University

Nancy van Deusen 

Colonial Latin America, Iberian Atlantic World

Phone: 613-533-6000, ext: 74365
Fax: 613-533-6298
Office: Watson Hall 227

Nancy E. van Deusen teaches colonial Andean, Latin American, and Atlantic World history. She specializes in the histories of slavery in the early modern Iberian world, and gender relations and female Catholic spirituality in colonial Peru. Her most recent book, Global Indios  (Duke University Press, 2015), examines slaves labeled as indios  who pressed for their freedom in Spanish courts in the sixteenth century. She is currently completing another book, Spiritual Pathways, about distinct expressions of female spirituality in seventeenth-century Peru, and beginning a new project on indigenous slavery in sixteenth-century Spanish and Portuguese America entitled, "The Disappearance of the Past."

Courses Taught


HIST 285 "Colonial Latin America: 1492 to 1850" (lecture)
HIST 442 "Andean Worlds," (seminar)
HIST 455 "Heresy, Holiness, and Idolatry in the Iberian Atlantic World" (seminar)


HIST 801 Religious Identities in the Medieval Mediterranean & Early Modern Iberian Atlantic (co-taught with Adnan Husain) 

HIST 804 "Atlantic World History"

Principal Fields for Graduate Supervision: Colonial Latin America, the Andes, or the Early Modern Iberian Atlantic World, 1492-1750, colonialism, gender, race, sexuality, servitude, spirituality.

Major Publications


Global Indios: The Indigenous Struggle for Justice in Sixteenth-Century Castile. Duke University Press, 2015.

(translation) Las almas de purgatorio, Lima: Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, translated by Javier Flores Espinoza, modernization of text by Javier Flores Espinoza, Roberto Niada, and Nancy E. van Deusen, 2013

(translation) Entre lo sagrado y lo mundano: el recogimiento en el Lima colonial, translated by Javier Flores Espinoza, Lima: Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú; Instituto Francés de Estudios Andinos, 2007.

The Souls of Purgatory: The Spiritual Diary of a Seventeenth-Century Afro-Peruvian Mystic, Ursula de Jesús. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2004.

Between the Sacred and the Worldly: The Cultural and Institutional Practice of Recogimiento among Women in Colonial Lima, Stanford University Press, 2001.


“In So Celestial a Language: Text as Body, Body as Text,” In,Uncovering the Colonial Archive: Women’s Textual Agency in the Early Modern World, Edited by Rocío Quispe-Agnoli and Mónica Díaz, Ashgate Press, forthcoming, 2016.

“Indios on the Move in the Sixteenth-Century Iberian World,” Journal of Global History, 10:3 (November 2015).

“Coming to Castile with Cortés: Indigenous 'Servitude' in the Sixteenth Century,” Ethnohistory, 62:1 (March 2015), 285-308.

"Seeing Indios in Sixteenth-Century Castile," The William and Mary Quarterly, 69:2 (April 2012), 211-240

"The Intimacies of Bondage: Female Indigenous Servants and Slaves and their Spanish Masters, 1492-1555," Journal of Women's History, 24:1 (2012), 13-43. Winner of the best article prize published in the Journal of Women’s History in 2011 and 2012

"God Lives among the Pots and Pans: Donadas (Religious Servants) in Seventeenth-Century Lima." In Africans to Spanish America: New Directions. Edited by Sherwin Bryant, Rachel O'Toole, and Ben Vinson III. University of Illinois Press, 2012, 136-60.

"Diasporas, Intimacy and Bondage in Lima, Peru, 1535-1555," Colonial Latin American Review, 19:2 (August 2010), 247-77.

"Reading the Body: Mystical Theology and Spiritual Appropriation in Early Seventeenth-Century Lima," Journal of Religious History, 33: 1 (spring 2009), 1-27. Winner of the Bruce Mansfield Prize for the best article published in the Journal of Religious History in 2009 and 2010.

"Circuits of Knowledge among Lay and Religious Women in Early Seventeenth-Century Peru." In Gender, Race, and Religion in the Colonization of the Americas. ed. Nora E. Jaffary. Ashgate Press, 2007, 137-151.

"Recent Approaches to the Study of Gender Relations among Native Andeans under Colonial Rule." In New World: First Nations: Native Peoples of Mesoamerica and the Andes under Colonial Rule, eds. David Cahill and Blanca Tovias de Plaisted. Sussex Academic Press, 2006, 144-166.

Current Projects

"Indigenous Servitude in the Iberian Atlantic World, 1492-1560." Book project.

"Spiritual Pathways: The Lives of Pious Women in Seventeenth-Century Lima." Book project.

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000