Director of Graduate Studies
Office: Modesto A. Maidique Campus, DM 300-B
Ph.D., University of North Carolina, 2001
Professor Premo is interested in topics ranging from Andean women and the early Spanish colonial economy to the history of childhood, African slavery in the Americas, native concepts of law, state policy, and creole intellectual debates during the last decades of Spanish rule. What binds her diverse research interests is a desire to understand how Spanish Americans lived colonialism every day. Her first book, Children of the Father King: Youth, Authority and Legal Minority in Colonial Lima (2005), reveals how Lima’s children were socialized into colonial hierarchies and how adults viewed and practiced their roles as authority figures over children in a legal culture that favored elite fathers and distant kings. She also co-edited Raising an Empire, a volume of historical scholarship about children and childhood in early modern Spain, Portugal and colonial Latin America. She has authored over a dozen articles and multiple book chapters on colonial Peru and Mexico and early modern Spain in the fields of legal studies, ethnohistory, gender and family history and Atlantic history. The recipient of several major research grants for her second major monograph, she is presently completing The Enlightenment on Trial, a comparative study how ordinary, often illiterate litigants made law modern in the courtrooms of vast regions of the 18th-century Spanish empire.
Professor Premo has a lot of fun exposing undergraduate students to Latin America's dynamic past in large introductory courses, as well as offering specialized upper-level courses on themes such as gender and colonial Latin American society. At the graduate level, she shares with students her longstanding fascination with everyday forms of colonial rule, along with broader interests in colonial and postcolonial theory and the eighteenth-century Atlantic World.