Fall 2011 Athenæum Series Fatal Encounters: Responding to Royal Death and Epidemic Disease in Seventeenth-Century Puebla, Mexico

Wednesday, November 2, 2011, 12-1 pm Kent Library, Sadie’s Place

Byy Erika Hosselkus, Department of History, this presentation explores how Spanish, Native American, and mixed-heritage residents of the Puebla region of Mexico responded to death during the seventeenth century. From official obsequies organized on Queen Margaret’s death to religious processions intended to alleviate suffering caused by smallpox and other diseases, fascinating historical documents illuminate beliefs regarding death and dying in Catholic colonial Mexico. In turn, such documents also highlight how corporate groups – the church, city council, and the family, among others – worked to understand, contextualize, and control events that might be called “fatal encounters,” and the experience of death in seventeenth-century Puebla.

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