Search

Stuart Schwartz’s Blood and Boundaries nimbly navigates the ever-multiplying and continuously mutable parameters of exclusion and difference in colonial Latin America through an exploration of precisely those categories that defied classification. Focusing on Moriscos (converts from Islam), conversos (converts from Judaism), and mestizos, whose memberships expanded and contracted over the centuries, depending on the significance of genealogy, religion, or phenotype, Schwartz explores how members of these groups survived, sometimes thrived, in different locations, and how the usage of these labels sometimes morphed from identifiable attributes into allegory. By emphasizing peripheral actors whose identities were always in question, this far-ranging and provocative volume effectively demonstrates how all socioracial categories in Latin America were constructed and reconstructed at particular historical moments.