A new book by Roger Louis Martínez-Dávila, associate professor, Department of History, will explore how Jewish converts to Catholicism adapted and thrived during the 14th and 16th centuries in “Creating Conversos: The Carvajal-Santa Maria Family in Early Modern Spain.” The book will be published in late April 2018 by the University of Notre Dame Press.
Rather than acting as alienated and marginalized subjects, the conversos were able to craft new identities and strategies not just for survival but for prospering in the most adverse circumstances. By tracing the family ties and intermarriages of the Jewish rabbinic ha-Levi lineage of Burgos, Spain (which became the converso Santa María clan) with the Old Christian Carvajal line of Plasencia, Spain, Martínez-Dávila demonstrates the family’s changing identity, and how the monolithic notions of ethnic and religious disposition were broken down by the group and negotiated anew as they transformed themselves from marginal into mainstream characters at the center of the economies of power in the world they inhabited
Martínez-Dávila is currently a European Commission Marie Curie Fellow at the Universidad de Carlos III de Madrid in Spain. He is teaching the massive open online course Deciphering Secrets in partnership with the University of Colorado’s Coursera platform.
Preorders can be made through Notre Dame Press for the cloth-bound edition. Online editions of book can also be preordered through the Barnes & Noble NOOK and Apple iBooks.