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Roger L. Martinez, Ph.D.


Roger Martinez

Personal Website


2008, Ph.D., History, University of Texas at Austin. Dissertation: "From Sword to Seal: The Ascent of the Carvajal Family in Spain (1390-1516)"
1994, M.P.P., Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California-Berkeley
1992, B.A., Humanities, University of Texas at Austin

Current Research and Book Project

In 2012, I plan to deliver my manuscript (under contract), Blood, Faith, and Fate: Jews, Conversos, and Old Christians in Early Modern Spain and Colonial Spanish America to an academic press. The text unravels long-held historical misconceptions about the identities and interrelations of fifteenth and sixteenth century Castilian families that hailed from Old Christian, Jewish, and converso ancestries. It explores the complex familial, political, patronage, religious, and socio-economic networks that bound these families together. Further, it argues that while expansive anti-Jewish initiatives and culturally destructive blood purity laws had a chilling effect on clan and political collaborations, the transformative impact of interreligious marriage and social alliances created an equally powerful counterweight. By tracing the path of the Carvajal, Santa María, Estúñiga, and associated families of Plasencia to colonial Spanish America, the full range of Old Christian, converso, and Jewish outcomes can be fully explored. Cumulatively, the life paths of these families reveal a far more nuanced cultural and religious history than is typically acknowledged in Spanish historiography.

Recent Fellowships and Awards

2011, Maurice Amado Faculty Incentive Grant for archival research in La Paz, Bolivia, and Sevilla, Spain (sponsored by UCLA’s Maurice Amado Program in Sephardic Studies and Center for Jewish Studies).

2010, University of Colorado President’s Fund for the Humanities award for the Sephardic Memory and Movement Conference; University of Colorado Diversity and Excellence Grant award for the Sephardic Memory and Movement Conference.

2008-10, David H. Burton Postdoctoral Fellowship, Saint Joseph’s University (PA).

Recent Publications, Papers, and Presentations

"Conference Proceedings from the Sephardic Memory and Movement Conference, March 10-11, 2011 at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.” HaLapid, The Journal of the Society for Crypto Judaic Studies (SCJS), forthcoming.

“An Introduction to the Sephardim, Conversos, and Crypto-Jews.” Unpublished paper presented at the Sephardic Memory and Movement Conference, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Colorado, March 10, 2011.

Book Review of Fernando González de León’s The Road to Rocroi: Class, Culture, and Command in the Spanish Army of Flanders, 1567-1659 (2009), The Sixteenth Century Journal, Volume XLI, No. 4, Winter 2009: 1162-63.

“Disparate Identities, Failures in Unity: The Complicated Social Realm of DoÑa Gracia Mendes Nasi.” HaLapid, The Journal of the Society for Crypto Judaic Studies (SCJS), Volume XVII, Issue 2, Spring 2010.

“Finding Tolerance, Accommodation, and Authority: Reflections on Medieval Islamic al-Andalus and Christian Spain.”David H. Burton Postdoctoral Fellowship Lecture, Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 21, 2010.

“New Archival Evidence on the Family Relations of Luis de Carvajal and his Mexican Inquisitors.” Unpublished paper presented at the Third Annual Crypto-Jewish Symposium, Texas A&M Hillel, College Station, Texas, April 9, 2010.

Book Review of J.H. Elliot’s Spain, Europe, and the Wider World, 1500-1700 (2009), The Americas, Volume 66, No. 4, April 2010: 563-564.

“Jews, Catholics, and Converts: Reassessing the Resilience of Convivencia in Fifteenth Century Plasencia, Spain.”Journal of Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian Crypto-Jews, Volume 1, Spring 2009: 95-119.

“Abraham’s Cathedral: Jewish, Muslim, and Catholic Co-existence in Late Medieval Spain.”
David H. Burton Postdoctoral Fellowship Lecture, Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 16, 2009.

“Becoming a Part of the Society.” HaLapid, The Journal of the Society for Crypto Judaic Studies (SCJS), Volume XV, Issue 4, Fall 2008.

“Promoting Family Piety and Nobility: Creating Cardinal Juan de Carvajal of Plasencia, Spain 1440s-1470s.” Unpublished paper presented at the Sixteenth Century Society Conference, St. Louis, Missouri, September 23-26, 2008.

Book Review of Vincent Barletta’s A Memorandum for the President of the Royal Audiencia and Chancery Court of the City and Kingdom of Granada (2007), The Sixteenth Century Journal, Volume XL, No. 2, Summer 2009: 615.

"Before the Collapse of Co-existence: The Collaboration of the Catholic Carvajal Family and the Jewish Ha-Levi Family in the Bishopric of Plasencia, Spain 1400-1440." HaLapid, The Journal of the Society for Crypto Judaic Studies (SCJS), Volume XIV, Issue 1, Winter 2007. Paper presented at the SCJS 16th Annual Conference, El Paso, TX, August 6-8, 2006.

Book Review of John Martin’s Myths of Renaissance Individualism (2004), The Sixteenth Century Journal, Volume XXXVII, No. 1, Spring 2006: 1173-1174.

Future, Current, and Past Course Offerings

HIST 1020: The Medieval World (fall 2011, fall 2010), lower division.

HIST 1030: The Rise of Modern Europe (spring 2011), lower division.

HIST 3000: Christian and Islamic Spain and North Africa (fall 2010), upper division.

HIST 3000: The Medieval Mediterranean World (spring 2011), upper division.

HIST 6110: Readings in Medieval European History (fall 2011), graduate.


Photo: Untitled. between 1935 and 1942. From Farm Security Administration Collection (Library of Congress).