University of Rochester

Pablo M. Sierra Silva

Position: Assistant Professor

Field: Global History

Specialty: African Diaspora in Latin America, Colonial Latin America, Afro-Indigenous Interactions, Urban Slavery

Education: PhD, University of California, Los Angeles, 2013

Contact Info

458 Rush Rhees Library
Dept. of History
Rochester, NY 14627-0070

phone: 585.275.8354
fax: 585.756.4425

Pablo Sierra

Fields of Interest:

My research is centered on the experiences of Africans and their descendants in New Spain during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Through their interactions with colonizing Europeans and local indigenous populations, I find that Africans (especially Angolans) impacted the delicate balance of power in a viceroyalty fearful of Black rebellion yet ever more dependent on slave labor. The object of this research is to fully insert Mexico into discussions of the greater African Diaspora during the years of the Iberian Union (1580-1640). I am particularly interested in exploring the nature and proliferation of urban Afro-indigenous households, friendships and alliances throughout Latin America, but especially in the city of Puebla. 

I am currently preparing an article on the remarkable life of the freedman Felipe Monson y Mojica and a book manuscript based on my doctoral dissertation, "Urban Slavery in Colonial Puebla de los Angeles, 1536-1708."

Graduate Fields:

I offer the following fields for the PhD qualifying examination. For explanations of fields, see the "Graduate Overview" page in the Graduate Handbook.

Teaching Field:

I will be accepting students for admission in Fall 2016.

Courses Offered:

Representative Publications:

  • "From Chains to Chiles: An Elite Afro-Indigenous Couple in Colonial Mexico, 1641-1688" Ethnohistory 62, no. 2 (April 2015): 196-219.
  • "Mine Workers and Weavers: Afro-Indigenous Labor Arrangements and Interactions in Puebla and Zacatecas, 1600-1700." Co-authored with Dana Velasco Murillo in City Indians in Spain's American Empire: Urban Indigenous Society in Colonial Mesoamerica and Andean South America, 1530-1810 (Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 2012), pp. 104-127.