Congratulations to Kellogg Faculty Fellow Karen Graubart, professor of history, whose book Republics of Difference: Religious and Racial Self-Governance in the Spanish Atlantic World has won the Transatlantic Studies Association and Cambridge University Press Book Prize. The prize is awarded to the best book published within a given year in the broad field of transatlantic studies.
Republics of Difference examines and compares fifteenth-century Seville and sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Lima to show how religiously- and racially-based self-governance functioned in a society with many kinds of law, what effects it had on communities, and why it mattered. The book describes residents' everyday lives and underscores the discriminatory barriers as well as the occupational structures, social hierarchies, and networks in which they flourished. In doing so, Graubart demonstrates the limits, benefits, and dangers of living under one's own law in the Spanish empire, including the ways self-governance enabled some communities to protect their practices and cultures over time.
Graubart was awarded a prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) fellowship in 2017 for her work on the book. Additionally, the Kellogg Institute provided two faculty research grants for her work and launched the book with a formal event last year.
Graubart earned a PhD in economics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She is a historian of colonial Latin America and the Iberian Atlantic whose research looks at the ways disenfranchised peoples of all kinds experienced colonialism and enslavement and, using a mixture of tools from their colonized environment, made sense of the world.