Exploring Identity in Spanish California


Wednesday, January 17, 2018 6:00PM

Exploring Identity in Spanish California
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Exploring Identity in Spanish California


During the Spanish colonial period in California (then called Alta California), identities were challenged and overturned, and new ones were created. The rise and solidification of the Californio identity transformed the settler population and the region as a whole, while the lives and identities of indigenous peoples, those living both at the missions and beyond, underwent dramatic change. Gender, a seemingly rigid concept, found fluidity and flexibility on what was known as the frontier of “New Spain,” despite the abuse of women (domestic and sexual) from soldiers and settlers alike. Indigenous women and Californianas played important roles in shaping colonial society.

Join us for a presentation by author Lisbeth Haas (Saints and Citizens: Indigenous Histories of Colonial Missions and Mexican California) that will touch on the creation, reconstitution, and dismantling of identities during the Spanish colonial period. A Q&A and book signing will follow the presentation.

A tip for our audiences:

This event is the first in a two-part series. The second event, on February 7, 2018, will feature presentations and discussions by three speakers featuring individual stories about identity in Spanish California. Learn more about that event here

About Our Speaker:

Lisbeth Haas is Professor of History and former Chair of the Feminist Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is currently a Visiting Professor at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City. Professor Haas has received awards and grants for her books about California history, which include Saints and Citizens: Indigenous Histories of Colonial and Mexican California; Pablo Tac, Indigenous Scholar Writing on Luiseño Language and Colonial History; and Conquests and Historical Identities in California. Her work focuses on indigenous people, Mexican history and immigration to California, and on writing a people’s history of California and other areas of the United States and Mexico. She is as interested in the written word as in oral culture and politics.

This event is a part of our exhibition program series for Alexander Hamilton: Treasures from the New-York Historical Society and Meanwhile out West: Colonizing California, 1769-1821 and generously supported by the Yerba Buena Community Benefit District.


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