Colonial Latin America, Spain, Portugal, Inquisition, Gender, Religion, Carceral, Death and Dying


Amanda Summers is a PhD candidate at Temple University and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Fellow in Early American Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania's McNeil Center for Early American Studies. She received a B.A. with honors and an M.A. in history, along with a graduate certificate in Gender, Race, and Identity Studies from the University of Nevada, Reno. She has lived in Mexico and Spain where she the recipient of a Fulbright Pre-Doctoral Research Grant. Her work focuses on the intersection of gender, race, and religion in the Iberian Atlantic through the lens of the treatment of bodies in the prisons of the Inquisition. Her dissertation, titled ¨Controlling Bodies, Controlling Empire: Sex and Violence in The Inquisition Prisons of the Early Seventeenth Century Iberian Atlantic¨ examines sex and violence in the Inquisition prisons of Cartagena de Indias, Lima, and Mexico City. With an intersectional approach drawn from gender, carceral, and death and dying studies, she examines social and physical death brought by the Inquisition upon suspects in the witchcraft and Jewish conspiracies of the early 17th century, and how sex, violence, and discourse were used by inmates to resist the Inquisition. Her work's central consideration is of people who were denied "good death" by the Inquisition in an intervention to death and dying studies, seeking to have a fuller consideration of how carceral states contribute to bad or shameful death of those deemed Other or unworthy.

Curriculum Vitae

Selected Publications

  • The forthcoming chapter “Sex Magic, Sex Work: The Gendered Labor of Maria de Rivera and Isabel de Montoya in Puebla, Mexico in the Mid-Seventeenth Century,” in “Histories of Sex Around the World,” part of the series “Routledge Research in Gender and History,” expected 2024
  • Database of Religious History
  • Rethinking the Spanish Inquisition and Autos de Fe”, Scottish Centre for Global History, November 2021
  • Book Review. “Imperial Metropolis: Los Angeles, Mexico, and the Borderlands of American Empire, 1865–1941” in Strategic Visions, Vol. 20 No. 2 (2021)

Courses Taught

  • HIST/LAS 2514 Introduction to Latin American History
  • HIST 0824 Gender and World Societies