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Jessica Criales


Visiting Assistant Professor of History


Early American History
Latin American History
Indigenous History
Women’s and Gender History

PhD, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
MA, New York University
BA, University of Notre Dame

Courses Taught
HIST 200: Empire, Slavery, Freedom: Early US
HIST 201: Inequity, Rights, Reaction: Modern US
HIST 231: Indigenous History of the Americas
HIST 272: History of Mexico & the Borderlands
HIST 364: Women in Global History

Peer-Reviewed Articles

“Holy Indian Women: The Indigenous Nuns of the Siete Príncipes Convent, Oaxaca, Mexico, 1782–1870.” Magistra: A Journal of Women's Spirituality in History, vol. 25, issue 2, Winter 2019, p. 51–65.

 “‘Women of Our Nation’: Gender in Christian Indian Communities in the United States and Mexico, 1753–1837.” Early American Studies, vol. 17, issue 4, Fall 2019, p. 414–442.

 “‘My Obligation to the Doctor for his Paternal Care’: Eleazar Wheelock and the Female School of Moor’s Indian Charity School, 1761-1769.” Social Sciences and Missions, vol. 30, issue 3–4, Fall 2017, p. 279–297.

Other Publications

“‘We Shall Meet the Same Lord Together’: Native Women and Christianity in the Early Republic.” The Panorama, 2 December 2019. Available online.

Book review. Quill and Cross in the Borderlands: Sor María de Ágreda and the Lady in Blue, 1628 to the Present by Anna M. Nogar. Reviewed in American Catholic Studies, vol. 130, issue 2, Summer 2019, p. 93–95. Solicited.

Encyclopedia entries. “Beatas,” “Mystics,” “Recogidas,” “Religious.” In Colleen Boyett, M. Diane Gleason, and H. Micheal Tarver, editors. The Greenwood Encyclopedia of the Daily Life of Women: How They Lived from Ancient Times to the Present. 4 Volumes. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO/Greenwood, 2020.

Article in non-refereed journal. [As Jessica Nelson.] “Indian Converts and La Gracia Triunfante: Biographies of Christian Indigenous Women in the Atlantic World of the 1720s.” The Atlantic Millennium, vol. 12, 2013–2014, p. 17–34.

Selected Presentations

Conference paper. “Holy Indian Women: The Indigenous Nuns of the Siete Príncipes Convent, Oaxaca, Mexico, 1782–1870.” Triennial Conference on the History of Women Religious, Saint Mary’s College, June 23–26, 2019.

Invited lecture. “‘Exemplary women’: Female Christian Indian Identity in Anglo-America and Ibero-America, 1500–1750.” Seminar on the History of Early America, Providence College, March 29, 2019.

Conference paper. “‘We of the Indian Nation’: Indigenous Identity at the Guadalupe School in Mexico City, 1753–1811.” Conference on Latin American History, American Historical Association, Chicago, Illinois, January 3–6, 2019. (Panel organizer.)

Invited lecture. “‘To Pray for Ourselves’: Women in Christian Indian Communities in Mexico and the United States, 1750–1870.” Newberry Library Seminar on Religion and Culture in the Americas, November 9, 2018.

Invited workshop participant. “‘Las que abajo firmamos’: Indigenous Identity at the Colegio de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, 1753–1811.” Southwest Seminar in Colonial Latin American History, Utah Valley University, November 1–4, 2018.

Conference paper. “‘Even in a Wilderness’: Conceptualizations of Space by Christian Indian Communities in Mexico and the United States, 1744–1840.” Ethnohistory, Winnipeg, Manitoba, CA, October 11–14, 2017.

Conference paper. “Women of Our Nation: The Indigenous Identity and Advocacy of Colonial Mexican Nuns, 1740-1867.” Rocky Mountain Council for Latin American Studies, Salt Lake City, April 5–8, 2017.

Conference paper. “Unspoken Connections: Intertribal Collaboration and the cacicas’ Convent of Oaxaca, Mexico, 1742–1850.” Latin American Studies Association, New York, May 27–30, 2016. (Panel organizer.)

Conference paper. “A People Set Apart: Religious Sovereignty of Indigenous Peoples in the Americas. 1742–1867.” Indigenous Sovereignties: Native Monarchies, Principalities, and Empires in the Atlantic Worlds Conference (America and Africa, 15th–19th Centuries), University of Nantes, France, March 24–26, 2016.

Invited workshop participant. “‘Religiosas Indias Puras’: The Founding of the Convento de Cacicas in Oaxaca, 1742–1782,” Southwest Seminar in Colonial Latin American History, Texas State University, October 22–24, 2015.

Conference paper. “‘My Obligation to the Doctor for his Patarnel Cair’: Eleazar Wheelock and the Female Students of Moor’s Indian Charity School, Connecticut, 1761–1769.” Colonial Christian Missions and Their Legacies Conference, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, April 27–29, 2015.

Selected Awards

Andrew W. Mellon Dissertation Fellow, 2019–2020, Rutgers University
Honorary Dissertation Fellow, 2019–2020, Louisville Institute
P.E.O. Scholar, 2018–2019, International Chapter of P.E.O.
Lilly Graduate Fellow, 2012–2015
Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, 2008–2009
Best History Honor Thesis, 2008, University of Notre Dame