Fugitive Governance

Faculty Research Grant
Grant Year

“Fugitive Governance” is a study of self-governance by people of African descent in Spain and across the Americas in the 15th and 16th centuries. Countering longheld beliefs, it argues that under particular but not extremely unusual circumstances the Spanish crown recognized pueblos de negros on the model of indigenous towns or republics. These pueblos were self-governing political entities that functioned as commonwealths, owed tribute to the monarch, and were obliged to perform services including policing runaway slaves. The monograph will trace this conceptual framework from its beginnings in late medieval Seville to its gradual disappearance and sporadic reappearance across the Caribbean in the wake of Atlantic slavery. I request funding to attend the annual conference of ASWAD (Association of Scholars of the Worldwide African Diaspora) in Seville November 7- 10, and to extend that trip for a week to take advantage of the location to carry out related research at the Archive of the Indies.