Maria-Elena MartinezAssociate Professor of History and American Studies and Ethnicity
Phone: (213) 740-1675
Office: SOS 270
María Elena Martínez is Associate Professor of Latin American History and American Studies and Ethnicity. Her work focuses on colonial Mexico, the cultural connections between Spain and the Americas, and more generally the formation of the Iberian Atlantic world. She teaches courses on Latin American history, slavery in the Atlantic world, early modern religion and race, and gender and sexuality in Spanish America. Professor Martinez’s publications include a number of articles on space, religion, gender, and race in New Spain as well as her book Genealogical Fictions: Limpieza de Sangre, Religion, and Gender in Colonial Mexico (Stanford University Press, 2008). The book has received the American Historical Association’s 2009 James A. Rawley Prize in Atlantic History and the American Historical Association’s Conference on Latin American History’s prize for best book in Mexican history. Presently Prof. Martínez is working on the relationship of Spanish colonial law and indigenous “genealogical histories” in central Mexico and well as on science and theories of race and sex in the eighteenth-century Spanish Atlantic world. Her current book project is tentatively titled The Enlightened Creole Science of Race and Sex: Naturalizing the Body in the Eighteenth-Century Spanish Atlantic World.
Professor Martínez’s fellowships include the Fulbright Scholars Fellowship (2012-2013), the ACLS/SSRC/NEH International and Area Studies Fellowship, the Barbara Thom Postdoctoral Fellowship, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Fellowship for Junior Faculty, the Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Sciences Award (USC), and the James H. Zumberge Research and Innovation Individual Faculty Grant (USC).
In 2013 she was awarded a USC Mellon Mentoring Award (for the Faculty to Graduate Students Category)
Prof. Martinez is a member of the Steering Committee of the Tepoztlán Institute for the Transnational History of the Americas, and during 2008-2009 was its Co-Director. The Institute organizes an annual conference in Mexico in order to promote transnational histories of the Americas and facilitate intensive dialogue among U.S. and Latin American graduate students and junior and senior faculty members. Professor Martínez is also a member of the Board of Editors of the Journal of the History of Ideas and of the Board of Editors of the Hispanic American Historical Review.
During 2012-2013, Prof. Martínez will be on fellowship leave conducting research abroad.
- Ph.D. Latin American History, University of Chicago, 1/2001
- M.A. History, University of Chicago, 1/1992
- B.A. Latin American Studies, Northwestern University, 1/1988
Affiliations with Research Centers, Labs, and Other Institutions
- The Tepoztlan Institute for the Transnational History of the Americas, Collective Member,http://www.lclark.edu/~tepo/
Conferences and Other Presentations
- "Sex, Race, and Nature in late Colonial New Spain", Symposium on Race and Sex in the Eighteenth-Century Spanish Atlantic World, Talk/Oral Presentation, Paper, USC, 04/13/2013
- "Performance, Bodies, and Archives: Conversation between Jesusa Rodríguez and María Elena Martínez about the Case of Juana Aguilar and Dr. Narciso Esparragosa", Workshop on The Colonial and Postcolonial Archive: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, Talk/Oral Presentation, USC, 04/12/2013
- "Religion, Caste, and Race in the Spanish and Portuguese Empires: Local and Global Dimensions", International Workshop on The Colonial Roots of Globalization, Talk/Oral Presentation, Paper, Mexico City, Latin American Studies Association, Invited, 03/24/2013-03/27/2013
- "The 'Transnational' before Nations: Notes from the Early Modern Iberian Empires,", Symposium "Transnationalism: A Useful Category of Analysis?", Talk/Oral Presentation, McNeil Center for Early American Studies, University of Pennsylvania, Invited, Spring 2012
- "Religion, Race, and Caste in the Spanish and Portuguese Empires", Symposium "Spain and Portugal: One Kindgom, Two Empires?", Talk/Oral Presentation, Stanford University, Invited, Fall 2011
- "Indigenous Genealogies: Lineage, History, and the Colonial Pact in Central Mexico and Peru", Symposium "Indigenous Intellectuals: Knowledge, Power, and Colonial Culture" , Talk/Oral Presentation, Paper, held at Cambridge University, UK, Cambridge University, UK, Invited, Fall 2010
- "Limpieza de sangre: Cambios y rupturas.", "Purity of blood" in Spain and Colonial Spanish America. , Talk/Oral Presentation, Mexico City , Colegio de México, Invited, Fall 2007
- "Indigenous Texts and Images: Communal Histories and Genealogies from Central Mexico.", "The Power of Images: Images of Power in Colonial Latin America", Talk/Oral Presentation, University of Pennsylvania, University of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Museum, Invited, Fall 2006
- "Citizenship ", "New World Slavery: Keywords", Talk/Oral Presentation, USC, Center for Law, History and Culture, Invited, Spring 2006
- "León y Gama’s Treatise on Skin Color and the Enlightened Creole ‘Science’ of Race in Eighteenth-Century New Spain.", The Sciences of Race in the Long Eigtheenth Century, Talk/Oral Presentation, USC, USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute, Spring 2006
- Eds. Hering Torres, M., Martinez, M., Nirenberg, D. (2012). Race and Blood in the Iberian World. Berlin, Münster, Viena, Zurich and London: Lit Verlag.
- Martinez, M. (2008). Genealogical Fictions: Limpieza de Sangre, Religion, and Gender in Colonial Mexico (Stanford, 2008). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
- Martinez, M. (2013). "Indigenous Genealogies: Lineage, History, and the Colonial Pact in Central Mexico and Peru,". Indigenous Intellectuals: Knowledge, Power, and Co Duke University Press.
- Martinez, M. (2009). "The Language, Genealogy, and Classification of ‘Race’ in Colonial Mexico," in Race and Classification: The Case of Mexican America (Stanford, 2009). Stanford, CA.
- Martinez, M. (2007). "Interrogating Blood Lines: ‘Purity of Blood, the Inquisition, and Casta Categories in Early Colonial Mexico," in Religion in New Spain, ed. Susan Schroeder and Stafford Poole (University of New Mexico Press, 2007). Albuquerque, New Mexico: University of New Mexico Press.
- Martinez, M. (2000). Space, Order, and Group Identities in a Spanish Colonial Town: Puebla de los Angeles, The Collective and the Public in Latin America: Cultural Identities and Political Order, eds. Luis Roniger and Tamar Herzog, Brighton, UK and Portland, Oregon: Sussex Academic Press, 2000, Pp. 13-36. The Collective and the Public in Latin America pp. 13-36..
- Martinez, M. (2012). Review of "El peso de la sangre: Limpios, mestizos y nobles en el mundo hispánico". The American Historical Review. pp. 1630-1632.. AHR
- Martinez, M. (1997). "Limpieza de Sangre," in Encyclopedia of Mexico, ed. Michael Werner (Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 1997).
- Martinez, M. (2004). "The Black Blood of New Spain: Limpieza de Sangre, Racial Violence, and Gendered Power in Early Colonial Mexico,"William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. LXI (July 2004),. William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Series/Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture. Vol. Vol. LXI (July 2004), pp. pp. 479-520..
- Martinez, M. ""Adelina Anthony"." COLA [City of Los Angeles] 2008 Catalog of Individual Artist Fellowships, 2008,
- Martinez, M. (2010). "Social Order in the Spanish New World". PBS Documentary, "When Worlds Collide"
- Martinez, M. The Conquests of Men, Review of Richard Trexler's Sex and Conquest: Gendered Violence, Political Order, and the European Conquest of the Americas, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1995.
- Martinez, M. Collaborated in the research and writing of Marco legal de los derechos de la mujer en México, ed. Alicia Elena Pérez Duarte (Mexico City: Consejo Nacional de la Población, 1995). Prepared for the IV World Conference on Women, Beijing, 1995.
Honors and Awards
- Fulbright Award, Fulbright Scholars Fellowship, 2012-2013
- USC Mellon Mentoring Award (for the Faculty to Graduate Students Category), 2012-2013
- Mexican History Prize for "Genealogical Fictions," awarded by the American Historical Society’s Conference on Latin American History., 2009-2010
- The American Historical Association’s James A. Rawley Prize in Atlantic History for "Genealogical Fictions", 2009-2010
- USC, Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Sciences Award , 2009-2010
- USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute Faculty Fellowship , Fall 2006
- Career Enhancement Fellowship for Junior Faculty, woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, 6/2004-6/2005
- ACLS/SSRC/NEH International and Area Studies Fellowship, 2004
- Barbara Thom Postdoctoral Fellowship , 2003-2004
- James H. Zumberge Research and Innovation Individual Faculty Grant , 2003-2004
- American Bar Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, 1999-2001
- Fulbright Award, Fellowship, 1997-1998
Service to the University
- Director, Chicano and Latino American Studies, 2010-2011
- Director, Chicano and Latino American Studies., 2009-2010
- Member, Executive Committee, American Studies and Ethnicity., 2010-2011
- Member, Search Committee, Early Modern (North) Atlantic World Position, History Department., 2010-2011
Service to the Profession
Editorships and Editorial Boards
- Editorial Board, Journal of the History of Ideas., 2009-
- Editorial Board, Hispanic American Historical Review, 2012-2018