When Europe introduced mechanisms to control New World territories, resources and populations, women-whether African, indigenous, mixed race, or European-responded and participated in multiple ways. By adopting a comprehensive view of female agency, the essays in this collection reveal the varied implications of women's experiences in colonialism in North and South America. Although the Spanish American context receives particular attention here, the volume contrasts the context of both colonial Mexico and Peru to every other major geographic region that became a focus of European imperialism in the early modern period: the Caribbean, Brazil, English America, and New France. The chapters provide a coherent perspective on the comparative history of European colonialism in the Americas through their united treatment of four central themes: the gendered implications of life on colonial frontiers; non-European women's relationships to Christian institutions; the implications of race-mixing; and social networks established by women of various ethnicities in the colonial context. This volume adds a new dimension to current scholarship in Atlantic history through its emphasis on culture, gender and race, and through its explicit effort to link religion to the broader imperial framework of economic extraction and political domination.
Nora E. Jaffary is Assistant Professor of History at Concordia University in Montreal. She is also the author of False Mystics: Deviant Orthodoxy in Colonial Mexico. Patricia Seed, Alida Metcalf, Bruce Erickson, Benjamin Marsh, Susan Broomhall, Joan Bristol, Kathryn Burns, Nora Jaffary, Yvonne Fabella, Bethany Hirt, Nancy van Deusen, Linda Rupert, Gail MacLeith.