Roger is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Colorado and holds a Ph.D. in medieval European history and global medieval history from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Public Policy from the University of California-Berkeley. His first monograph, Creating Conversos: The Carvajal-Santa María Family in Early Modern Spain (2018), is published by the University of Notre Dame Press. In Creating Conversos, he unravels the complex story of Jews who converted to Catholicism in Spain between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries, migrated to colonial Mexico and Bolivia during the conquest of the Americas, and assumed prominent church and government positions. 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.
Presently, from 2018 to 2020, Roger and an interdisciplinary team of scholars are launching Augmented Reflections: Experiencing the Interchange of Plains Indians and Spaniards in Southern Colorado, 1500-1850 CE. Our endeavor reshapes interpretation, understanding, and knowledge by generating virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality worlds (AR, interactive digital projections placed over the real world). We create a methodological interpretive digital experience that places participants within a narrative of Plains Indian life, Indian-Spanish interchange, and the Spanish-Indian (Hispano) settlement of southern Colorado. Akin to a three act drama, our project grants the public and researchers a chance to observe, evaluate, and reflect upon the cultural transformation of southern Colorado from the 16th-19th centuries.
Roger served as a Marie Curie Fellow (2015-2018) and continues to implement his European Commission research project, Global Citizen Scholars: Energizing English and Spanish- Speaking Humanists to Advance KÑowledge and Act (GCS – EESSPHAÑA), at the Universidad de Carlos III de Madrid. GCS is a global research, educational, and social engineering endeavor that employs MOOCs to teach medieval Spanish history as well as train tens of thousands of students to perform original transcription of medieval manuscripts from Spanish archival collections. This initiative continues at the Deciphering Secrets project website. Roger offers MOOCs on the www.coursera.org platform via his University of Colorado affiliation.
His exploration of issues of religious co-existence extends in the realm of public history. Specifically, he served as a Guest Curator for The New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which is the official state history museum located in the historic Palace of the Governors.
As co-curator of Fractured Faiths: Spanish Judaism, The Inquisition, and New World Identities, which opened May 22, 2016 (through Dec. 31, 2016), he identified, researched, and selected 150+ objects and art works for inclusion in the $600,000 USD exhibition, as well as coauthored the majority of the museum exhibition’s narrative and object labels. The exhibit was logistically challenging as we loaned objects from over twenty-five institutions and private collectors in Spain, Mexico, and the United States, including the Museo Sefardi (Toledo, Spain); Biblioteca Nacional de España; the Archivo General de la Nacion (Mexico City); the Museo Franz Meyer (Mexico City); the Hispanic Society of America (NY); the Jewish Museum of New York; and the Bancroft Library (Berkeley). In addition, he co-edited and authored the exhibition catalogue that includes an introductory essay, five scholarly papers, and a discussion of the principal objects included in the exhibit. The exhibition received positive reviews in the Albuquerque Journal and the Santa Fe New Mexican; over six-hundred persons attended the member opening on May 21, 2016.
In 2014, he created and co-directs the Revealing Cooperation and Conflict Project, which evaluates inter-religious relations in medieval Spain. The RCCP team of scholars from Spain, Switzerland, and the USA invigorates the humanities and public’s imagination by creating visually-compelling, data-robust, and historically-lush digital worlds like our Unity-based collaborative work, Virtual Plasencia (and our digital narration, “La Mota: A Christian Assumes Ownership over Jewish Homes, circa 1416”.
- University of Texas at Austin, Doctor of Philosophy in Medieval European History (2008). Dissertation: From Sword to Seal: The Ascent of the Carvajal Family in Spain (1391-1516).
- Mellon Summer Institute in Spanish Paleography at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California (2005).
- University of California at Berkeley, Master of Public Policy (1994). Thesis: “Should We Educate Our Children? A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Public Education Access for California’s 1990 School-Age Undocumented Population.” Thesis prepared for the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
- University of Texas at Austin, Bachelor of Arts in Humanities (1992). Thesis: “The Moorish Princess Motif in Medieval Spanish Literature.”
Areas of Interest
- Late Medieval/Early Modern Europe with an emphasis on Spain
- Medieval Global Interconnections Medieval Jewish Civilization
- Medieval Paleography
- Digital Humanities, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Crowdsourcing, and Massive Open Online Courses
Graduate and Undergraduate University Courses
- HIST 7110: Graduate Research and Writing in Medieval European History
- HIST 6110: Graduate Readings in Medieval European History
- HIST 6000: Graduate Historiography
Undergraduate University Courses
- HIST 4990: History Capstone Course: Undergraduate Senior Thesis
- HIST 4160: A Crossroads of Civilizations: The History of Spain and North Africa
- HIST 4150: Astrolabes, Arms, and Azulejos: Medieval Science, Technology, and Material Culture
- HIST 3480: Ideas, Identities, & Indiscretions: Transformations in Early Modern Europe (1400-1800)
- HIST 3000: From Baghdad to Burgos: Christians, Muslims, and Jews in the Medieval Mediterranean World
- HIST 1020: The Medieval World: A Survey of the European, Byzantine, and Islamic Middle Ages
- HIST 1030: The Rise of Modern Europe: From The Renaissance Until the French Revolution
- HIST 1011: Western Civilization I: Finding History’s Path from Antiquity to the Modern Era
- HIST 1021: Western Civilization II: From the Renaissance to Modernity
- HUM 3990: Transitions and Rebirth: The Idea of the Renaissance in Europe (750-1600)
- Coexistence in Medieval Spain: Jews, Christians, and Muslims https://www.coursera.org/learn/coexistence-in-medieval-spain (Ongoing since December 2017)
- Deciphering Secrets: The Illuminated Manuscripts of Medieval Europe https://www.coursera.org/learn/medieval-europe (Ongoing since December 2016)
- Burgos: Deciphering Secrets of Medieval Spain (Ongoing since spring 2018) https://www.coursera.org/learn/burgos-deciphering-secrets-medieval-spain
- Toledo: Deciphering Secrets of Medieval Spain (Ongoing since summer 2018) https://www.coursera.org/learn/toledo-deciphering-secrets-medieval-spain
- Deciphering Secrets: Unlocking the Manuscripts of Medieval Toledo (Spain) https://www.edx.org/course/deciphering-secrets-unlocking-uc3mx-hga-2-2x (fall 2017)
- Deciphering Secrets: Unlocking the Manuscripts of Medieval Burgos (Spain) https://www.edx.org/course/deciphering-secrets-unlocking-uc3mx-hga-2-1x (summer 2016, spring 2017)
- Deciphering Secrets: Unlocking the Manuscripts of Medieval Spain https://www.coursera.org/course/medievalspain (summer 2014, spring 2016)
Journal Articles and Other Publications
- Martínez-Dávila, Roger Louis, Paddington Hodza, Mubbasir Kapadia, Sean T. Perrone, Christoph Hölscher, and Victor R. Schinazi. “Telling Stories: Historical Narratives in Virtual Reality.” Routledge Digital Medieval Literature and Culture, eds. Jen Boyle and Helen J. Burgess. 2017. ISBN: 9781138905047. http://bit.ly/2AXTTCJ
- Martínez-Dávila, Roger Louis, and Lynn Ramey. “Remediation and 3D Design: Immediacy and the Medieval Video Game World.” Routledge Digital Medieval Literature and Culture, eds. Jen Boyle and Helen J. Burgess. 2017. ISBN: 9781138905047. http://bit.ly/2AXTTCJ
- Martínez-Dávila, Roger Louis. “Spanish Online Resources for Spanish and Latin American History.” Bulletin for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies, Volume 41, Issue 1 (2016). ISSN: 0739-182X. http://digitalcommons.asphs.net/bsphs/vol41/iss1/6
- Martínez-Dávila, Roger Louis. “Trans-Atlantic ‘Hebrew’ and Converso Networks: Conquistadors, Churchmen, and Crypto Jews in the Spanish Extremadura and Colonial Spanish America.” Journal of Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian Crypto-Jews, Volume 4, Spring 2012: 135-166.
- Martínez-Dávila, Roger Louis. “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.
- Martinez-Davila, Roger Louis, “CASE STUDY: Deciphering Secrets MOOCs: Crowdsourcing Medieval Manuscripts on Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Coexistence”, in Open Education Europa (European Commission, 2017). http://bit.ly/2E835GP
- Martinez-Davila, Roger Louis. "Shields of Grace." El Palacio. Winter 2016: 56-65.
- Martinez-Davila, Roger Louis. "The Potential of Massive Open Online Courses: Engaging Global Audiences to Transcribe Spanish Manuscripts,” in the Newsletter of the Association for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies (Volume 6, 2015): 8-13.
- Martínez-Dávila, Roger Louis. “Sephardic Origins and Transformations in the Spanish Extremadura: Project Synopsis and Database User Guide.” Jerusalem: International Institute for Jewish Genealogy and Paul Jacobi Center at the National Library of Israel, 2014.
- Global Events: Milestone Events Throughout History, Volume 5: Middle East. Farmington Hills: Gale Cengage Learning, 2014. Adviser and co-author.
- Martínez-Dávila, Roger Louis. “Finding Spain’s Identity: Américo Castro and His Exploration of Convivencia in Medieval Spain.” HaLapid, The Journal of the Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies (SCJS), Volume XXIII/XXIV, Issues 2 and 3, Spring/Summer 2012/5772.
- Martínez-Dávila, Roger Louis. “Framing a New Museum Exhibition on Sephardic Jews, Conversos, and Crypto-Jews: Collaborative Efforts with the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico.” HaLapid, The Journal of the Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies (SCJS), Issues 2 and 3, Spring/Summer 2012/5772.
- Martínez-Dávila, Roger Louis. “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), Volume XIX/XX, Issues 2 and 3, Spring/Summer 2011/5771.
- Martínez-Dávila, Roger Louis. “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.
Recent Presentations at Meetings and Seminars Presented (2015-2018)
- “Global Citizen Scholars: Mobilizing the public to assist with paleographic transcription of medieval manuscripts using Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).” Associazione per l’Informatica Umanistica e le Culture Digitali (AIUCD) 2017 Conference, Sapienza Università di Roma (Italy), January 28, 2017.
- “Put down your forks, folks. MOOCs aren’t done yet!” Panel member, Colorado Learning and Teaching with Technology (COLTT) Conference, University of Colorado System, Boulder, CO, August 3, 2016.
- “Plus Ultra, Beyond Text: Digital 3D Representations of Late Medieval Spanish Inter-Religious History” workshop presentation at the Programme du séminaire “Épistémologie et pratiques des Humanités numériques” on May 13, 2016. Paris, France.
- "Digitally Democratizing Discovery: Mobilizing Global Citizen Scholars for Manuscript Studies" public lecture at the Behavioral Studies Colloquium at ETH-Zurich on April 5, 2016. Zurich, Switzerland.
- "Global Citizen Scholars: Crowdsourcing Discovery and Manuscript Transcription Via Massive Open Online Course" public lecture at the Power and Institutions in Medieval Islam and Christendom project at the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas on February 1, 2016. Madrid, Spain.
- “Virtual Plasencia (Spain): Evaluating the Relationships of Jews, Christians, and Muslims Via an Interdisciplinary Geovisualization and Transcription Endeavor.” Unpublished paper presented at Session 375 “What’s New in the Digital Humanities” Roundtable, 50th International Congress of Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, May 16, 2015.
- “New Research Directions: Medieval Iberia (A Roundtable in Memoriam of Olivia Remie Constable.” Session 198, 50th International Congress of Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, May 15, 2015.
- “Massive Open Online Courses and Crowdsourcing Discovery.” Virtual youtube.com presentation for the University of Colorado System President’s Teaching and Learning Collaborative, May 11, 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weeSwrjk7SA
- “Discoveries in the Medieval Cathedral of Plasencia (Spain): Archival Secrets About Identity, Religion and Faith, and Warfare.” Invited lecture at Bea Spade Memorial Lecture Series, Colorado State University-Pueblo, March 14-15, 2015.
- Virtual Plasencia.” Digital Lighting Round, 129th Meeting of the American Historical Association, New York, NY, January 3, 2015.
Grants, Fellowships, and Scholarships (2010-2018)
- $100,000, “Augmented Reflections: Experiencing the Interchange of Plains Indians and Spaniards in Southern Colorado, 1500-1850 CE”, 2018 College Research Initiative, UCCS College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences co-primary recipient.
- $7,500, “Deciphering Secrets” Massive Open Online Course award for graduate student teaching assistants, UCCS Office of the Chancellor, primary recipient.
- 12.000 €, “Introduction to Calligraphy and Paleography in Medieval and Early Modern Spanish Archives,” Massive Open Online Course, 2016-17 Convocatoria para la Presentación de Propuestas de MOOCs y SPOC, Universidad Carlos III Madrid, co-primary recipient.
- $180,000, 3-Year UC3M CONEX Marie Curie Fellowship, “Global Citizen Scholars: Energizing English and Spanish-Speaking Humanists to Advance KÑowledge an Act.” Connecting Excellence to the Universidad Carlos III Madrid (CONEX) Program, primary recipient.
- $10,000, “Deciphering Secrets: The Illuminated Manuscripts of Medieval Europe,” University of Colorado System Office of the President, primary recipient.
- $4,000, “Deciphering Secrets: The Illuminated Manuscripts of Medieval Europe,” UCCS Office of the Provost, primary recipient.
- $1,900, “Convivencia Re-Envisioned: The Three Worlds of Renaissance Spain,” a musical and digital video performance of Virtual Plasencia by the RCCP and the Texas Early Music Project in Austin, Texas, September 5 and 6, 2015; primary recipient.
- $3,000, University of Colorado President’s Fund for the Humanities grant, “The Revealing Cooperation and Conflict Project’s Virtual Plasencia”, primary recipient
- $1,500, “Deciphering Secrets: Unlocking the Manuscripts of Medieval Spain” Research Proposal, University of Colorado System President’s Teaching and Learning Collaborative, primary recipient
- $12,590, “The Revealing Cooperation and Conflict Project’s Virtual Plasencia”, University of Texas General Libraries Grant, co-primary recipient
- $4,800, UCCS Arts and Humanities Award for “The M3 Project: Mapping Medieval Microcosms in Medieval Spain”, UCCS, primary recipient
- $5,300, Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Development Award for “The M3 Project: Mapping Medieval Microcosms in Medieval Spain”, UCCS Office of the Provost, primary recipient
- $4,200, Online Course Development Award for HUM 3990: Digital Humanity, UCCS College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, primary recipient
- $99,134, “Colorado Consortium of Reacting to the Past” Immersive and Game-Based Learning Faculty Challenge Grant, Colorado Community College System, co-primary recipient
- $9,250, “Expressions of Complex Identities: Sephardic Jews, Conversos, and Crypto-Jews (1391-2015)”, Guest Curator Grant, New Mexico History Museum (Santa Fe, NM), primary recipient
- $7,500, The International Institute for Jewish Genealogy (IIJG) and Paul Jacobi Center Research Grant; National Library of Israel, Givat Ram Campus of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem; primary recipient
- $4,665, Maurice Amado Faculty Incentive Grant, UCLA’s Maurice Amado Program in Sephardic Studies and Center for Jewish Studies, primary recipient
- $1,500, Program for Cultural Cooperation Research Grant, Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sports, primary recipient
- $300, Faculty Assembly Women’s Committee Research Grant, UCCS, primary recipient
- $500, Faculty Fellow of the Integrated Writing Across the Curriculum Seminar, UCCS, primary recipient
- $3,000, University of Colorado President’s Fund for the Humanities grant, “Sephardic Memory and Movement: The Spanish Jewish Diaspora and Its Cultural and Artistic Contributions to the American Southwest”, primary recipient
- $1,350, University of Colorado Diversity and Excellence grant, “Sephardic Memory and Movement: The Spanish Jewish Diaspora and Its Cultural and Artistic Contributions to the American Southwest”, primary recipient