Scholar named National Humanities Center fellow
Javier Villa-Flores, associate professor of Latin American and Latino studies and history, was named a fellow of the National Humanities Center for the 2015-16 academic year.
He will join 36 other scholars from 32 institutions around the world at the center, an independent institute for advanced study in the humanities located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
The fourth UIC scholar to be selected since the center opened in 1978, he will work on his project “Perjurers, Impersonators, and Liars: Public Faith and the Dark Side of Trust in 18th-Century Mexico.”
The project explores the history of trust and deception in 18th-century Bourbon Mexico by focusing on the representation, prosecution and punishment of “crimes of falsity” — forgery of official documents and seals, impersonation of secular and religious ministers, counterfeiting, alteration of weights and measures, and perjury and false witnessing in legal courts.
Villa-Flores studies religious issues, colonialism, performance studies and the social history of language in colonial Mexico.
He is the author of Carlo Ginzburg: The Historian as Theoretician, and Dangerous Speech: A Social History of Blasphemy in Colonial Mexico. He is co-editor of Emotions and Daily Life in Colonial Mexico and From the Ashes of History: Loss and Recovery of Archives in Latin America.
His research has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, John Carter Brown Library, Huntington Library, Newberry Library and the Institute for the Humanities at UIC. He received the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Mid-Career Faculty Award in 2014.