Beatriz E. SALAMANCA

2020-2021

François Chevalier fellow

Universidad Javeriana

Criminal Anonymity: Locating Malleable Identities and the Rightful Newcomer in the Early Modern Hispanic World

Beatriz Salamanca received her PhD in Spanish and Latin American Studies at University College London in 2019, and is a lecturer at Universidad Javeriana Cali in Colombia, where she teaches courses on the History of Law and the History of Political Thought. Her research looks at ideas about migration, boundaries and identity in early modern Spain and Spanish America, tracing the overlapping ethical and political frameworks in which these ideas constituted a milestone of modernity. She received a Summer Fellowship at the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University in 2019, and she is preparing a book chapter on charity, poverty, and identity in early modern Spain for Manchester University Press.

Research project

In the sixteenth century, the crown’s increasingly profuse mobility regulations placed transatlantic passengers at the core of the anxious campaign towards identification. But the accounts of travellers imprisoned under procedures of the Casa de Contratación present a more complex picture: English Catholics passing for Spanish, soldiers and settlers disguised as sailors, Spaniards defending their Spanishness. By looking at a set of trials of captured illegal travellers, this project explores their narratives’ incomplete and malleable terminology, and traces the role of their elusive backgrounds on the construction of bureaucratic infrastructures of migration. This research explores these procedures’ fragile aspirations to ‘locate’ the rightful newcomer, while shedding some new light on the means through which they effectively criminalized anonymity and consolidated early expressions of modernity.  

Selected Publications

- “Early Modern Controversies of Mobility within the Spanish Empire: Francisco de Vitoria and the Peaceful Right to Travel”, Tropos, 3.1 2015, DOI:10.14324/111.2057-2212.061

- “Domingo de Soto and the Vagueness of Vagrancy: The Wickedness of Itinerant Lives”, Tropos, 4.1, 2017, DOI:10.14324/111.2057-2212.070.

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