Roundtable: The Worlds of Oratorian Devotion in 17th and 18th Century Mexico City

The second Bancroft Round Table of the Spring Semester will take place at noon, Thursday, March 15 in the Lewis Latimer Room of the Faculty Club. Ben Reed, Ph. D. Candidate in the Dept. of History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Reese Fellowship Recipient will give a talk entitled “The Worlds of Oratorian Devotion in 17th & 18th Century Mexico City.”

Mr. Reed’s research investigates the history and significance of Oratorian devotion to the Italian Saint Philip Neri (1515-1595) in 17th and 18th century Mexico City. For reasons unknown today, the Oratorian library and archives were fragmented and dispersed into public and private collections some time in the late 19th century; Mr. Reed endeavors to re-collect, and re-imagine the dimensions of, that archive. Alongside images of Oratorians’ lives, the project’s sources provide glimpses into many of the city’s social worlds, including the work of tax collectors for Spain’s on-going Holy Crusades, the clergy’s efforts to secure the canonization of Mexican saints, and several contrasting accounts of living in the city’s women’s shelters.

Please join us as Mr. Reed shares some of the insights about Mexico during the colonial period which are afforded by Bancroft’s treasures. Bancroft Round Tables aim to focus attention on the rich resources our library offers for studying the history of the nations of western North America. In this case, we invite the community to hear stories of some mysteries from earlier centuries in the life of one of the truly great cities on our continent.