History and Art History
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Joan C. Bristol

Joan C. Bristol

Joan C. Bristol

Associate Professor

World History: Latin America, African-American history, social and cultural history, history of commodities

Joan C. Bristol received her PhD in history at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of Christians, Blasphemers, and Witches: Afro-Mexican Ritual Practice in the Seventeenth Century (University of New Mexico Press, Diálogos series, 2007). Her articles appear in the Boletín del Archivo General de la Nación (Mexico), the Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, and several edited volumes. Her current research interests include the intersection of gender and racial ideologies in colonial Spanish America and the history of pulque and mezcal in Mexico. Professor Bristol has served as secretary and chair of the Colonial Studies Committee of the Conference on Latin American History. Professor Bristol is affiliated with the Center for Global Studies and the Latin American Studies, Honors, and New Century College programs at George Mason.

Current Research

Distilling Identities: From Pulque to Tequila in Mexico, 1428-Present

Selected Publications

"Creole Civic Pride and Positioning 'Exceptional' Black Women,” with Tamara Harvey, in Women’s Narratives of the Early Americas and the Formation of Empire, eds. Mary McAleer Balkun and Susan C. Imbarrato, 2016

“Black Catholicism in Mexico,” for roundtable on Black Catholicism in Journal of Africana Religions, vol. 2, no. 2, 2014

“A Trail of Precious Goods: Colonial Latin American Commodity History,” History Compass, volume 11, issue 11, November, 2013

“Ana de Vega: Seventeenth-Century Afro-Mexican Healer,” in Human Tradition in Latin America, ed. Kenneth Andrien, Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2013

“Finding Saints in an Alley: Afro-Mexicans in Early Eighteenth-Century Mexico City,” in Expanding the Diaspora: Africans to Colonial Latin America, eds. Sherwin Bryant, Rachel O’Toole, and Ben Vinson III, University of Illinois Press, 2012


Expanded Publication List

“You are What You Drink? Tequila, Maguey, and Mexican Identity,” in Global Studies Review, GMU Center for Global Studies, vol. 7, no. 1, Spring 2011

“Potions and Perils: Love-Magic in Seventeenth-Century Afro-Mexico and Afro-Yucatan,” with Matthew Restall, in Black Mexico, eds. Ben Vinson III and Matthew Restall, University of New Mexico Press, 2009

“Patriarchs, Petitions, and Prayers: Intersections of Gender and Calidad in Colonial Mexico,” in Gender and Religion in the Atlantic World, eds. Lisa Vollendorf and Daniella Kostroun, University of Toronto Press, 2009

Christians, Blasphemers, and Witches: Afro-Mexican Ritual Practice in the Seventeenth Century, University of New Mexico Press, 2007.

“From Curing to Witchcraft: Afro-Mexicans and the Mediation of Authority,” in Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, volume 7, no. 1, Spring 2006.

“Ana de Vega, mulata: ¿curandera o hechicera?,” in Boletín del Archivo General de la Nación, 6a época, número 6, noviembre-diciembre 2004

Courses Taught

History 125:  Global History

History 271:  Survey of Colonial Latin America

History 365:  Conquest and Colonization in Latin America

History 510:  Approaches to Modern World History

History 525:  The Atlantic World

History 610:  Study and Writing of History

Recent Presentations

Society for the Study of American Women Writers, November 2015, “Creole Civic Pride and ‘Exceptional’ Black Women,” with Tamara Harvey

American Society for Ethnohistory, October 2014, “Health Food or Diabolic Vice? Pulque Discourse in Colonial New Spain”

Society of Early Americanists, July 2014, "Devotion Across the Atlantic: A Judaizing Mulata in Seville and Mexico City"

Rocky Mountain Conference on Latin American Studies, April 2013, “Women Behaving Badly? Gender and Pulque Legislation in the 18th Century”

Attending to Early Modern Women, June 2012, Workshop co-organizer and participant, “Relocating the Recorded Religious and Mystical Experiences of Non-elite Women in Atlantic and Hemispheric Contexts”

Latin American Studies Association, May 2012, “Bar Fights: Drinking, Disorder, and Ethnic Profiling in Colonial Oaxaca”

American Society for Ethnohistory, October 2011, “Drinking Coyotes: Racializing Pulque in Eighteenth-Century Mexico”