The Latin American Studies Program hosted the annual Charles A. Hale Lecture, entitled "Pardos, Mulattos, and the Purchase of Whiteness in the Spanish Indies” presented by Ann Twinam, on Thursday, October 12th, 2017, from 3:30 - 5:00pm, in 1117 University Capitol Centre.

The colonization of Spanish America resulted in the mixing of Natives, Europeans, and Africans and the creation of a casta system that discriminated against them. Yet members of mixed races could free themselves from such burdensome restrictions through the purchase of a gracias al sacar—a royal exemption that provided the privileges of Whiteness. This presentation asks a key question: what historic variables made it possible for pardos and mulattos—unlike their counterparts in Anglo-America—to move from slavery to freedom, to mix with Natives and Whites and to be transformed into vassals worthy of such royal favor?

Professor Ann Twinam is the Walter Webb Prescott chair in history at the University of Texas at Austin. Her most recent publication, Purchasing Whiteness: Pardos, Mulattos and the Quest for Social Mobility in the Spanish Indies (Stanford University Press, 2015) won the Latin American Studies Bryce Wood Best Book Award, The Conference on Latin American History Bolton-Johnson Prize, the American Historical Association Beveridge Award (best publication in U.S., Canadian, and Latin American history, 1492 to the Present) and the RMCLAS Bandelier-Lavrin and Ligia Parra Jahn Awards.

The Charles A. Hale Lecture honors the memory of Professor Charles A. Hale (1930 - 2008), a specialist in Latin American liberalism and intellectual history. He was a distinguished scholar and faculty member at the University of Iowa from 1966 - 1997.

This event is sponsored by the the Latin American Studies Program (LASP), International Programs, the Department of History, and the Department of Spanish & Portuguese.

Pardos, Mulattos, and the Purchase of Whiteness in the Spanish Indies - Ann Twinam