Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2017

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

Romance Languages and Literature: Hispanic Studies

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



In my dissertation entitled “Masculinidad Misionera en la Frontera. Jesuitas y Resistencia Mapuche en la Araucanía (Siglos XVI y XVII),” I study a varied group of texts such as letters, cartas anuas, historias and relaciones, and legal documents such as indigenous wills in order to conceptualize what I call the “internal frontier” of the Spanish empire in Chile as an interactive contact zone between the indigenous domain and Spanish settlements. Intercultural encounters were defined by acts of resistance and negotiation, transforming both missionary and indigenous cultural and religious practices. Under the critical lens of masculinity studies, I analyze the construction of a local Jesuit masculinity and the performative aspects of the various intercultural encounters between Mapuche people and Spaniards that were mediated by Jesuit missionaries and motivated Indigenous migration movements towards urban centers. Compiling a corpus of more than one hundred indigenous wills, I recreate the dynamics of indigenous forms of adaptation to the colonial urban context through the analysis of material culture and discursive strategies alongside their negotiation with the hegemonic subjects of the colonial city, a site where indigenous groups increasingly formed part of the multicultural urban social map. My project addresses the central role of peripheral areas in the shaping of colonial dynamics and identities, in dialogue with colonial studies, border studies, indigenous studies, religious studies, masculinity studies, and performance studies. My research findings contribute on our understanding of intercultural interactions in remote areas as well as colonial frontier dynamics.


Spanish (es)

Chair and Committee

Stephanie Kirk

Committee Members

William Acree, Carmen Fernandez-Salvador, Javier Garcia-Liendo, Elzbieta Sklodowska,


Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.7936/K7CF9NJK