Nora E. Jaffary, PhD

Professor, History

Nora E. Jaffary, PhD
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 2432
Availability: Winter 2022: Wednesdays 2pm-3pm

Dr. Jaffary is a Latin Americanist whose research focuses on social and gender history in colonial and nineteenth-century Mexico. Her book, Reproduction and Its Discontents in Mexico: Childbirth and Contraception from 1750 to 1905 (UNC-Chapel Hill, 2016) examining midwifery, monstrous births, infanticide, abortion and the emergence of Mexican obstetrics, won the Canadian Historical Association's Wallace K. Ferguson Prize in 2017, and Honorable Mention for the Latin American Studies Association's Howard F. Cline Book Prize in Mexican History in 2018. She is currently at work on a book treating the history of abortion in Mexico.

Dr. Jaffary received her Ph.D. in Latin American History from Columbia University in 2000. She has published a monograph on the Mexican inquisition’s investigation of popular religious practices, False Mystics: Deviant Orthodoxy in Colonial Mexico,  a volume of essays treating the comparative colonization of the Americas, Gender, Race, and Religion in the Colonization of the Americas, and two collections of primary sources in translation aimed at introducing students to Mexican history and to women's history: Women in Colonial Latin America: Texts and Contexts, 1526-1806, co-edited with Jane E. Mangan and Mexican History: A Primary Source Reader, co-edited with Edward W. Osowski and Susie S. Porter.

Dr. Jaffary regularly teaches classes on the colonial and modern history of Latin America including "Latin America Via the Novel: Gabriel García Márquez and Latin American History," and "Power and Culture: Mexican, Cuban, and US Relations."

Dr. Jaffary is interested in working with graduate students on issues involving Mexico’s social and cultural history in the colonial and modern eras, or more broadly on gender, medicine, race, crime, deviancy, and religion in colonial and nineteenth-century Latin America.

She has previously served as both Graduate Program Director and Department Chair. 


B.A. University of Toronto; M.A. University of British Columbia; Ph.D. Columbia University.

Teaching activities

Courses 2021/22

On sabbatical

HIST 601: Methodology and History

Recent graduate students

Luis Londoño (PhD, 2020-) Crime in Mexico

Hugo Rueda (PhD, 2017-). Memory and Nation in Chile.

Dr. Frida Osorio (post-doc, 2014-15) "Derechos y ciudadanía. El uso del amparo en México (1870-1900)."

Courses taught

HIST 276: Latin America: The Colonial Period.
HIST 336: Deviancy and Orthodoxy in Mexican History

HIST 332: Power and Culture: Mexican, Cuban and US Relations.
HIST 372: Latin America Via the Novel.
HIST 403: History and Methodology
HIST 457/640/840: Deviancy and Orthodoxy in Mexican History
HIST 457/640/840: The Idea of Race in Latin America
HIST 457/640/840: Crime in Mexican History

HIST 457/640: Sexuality and Gender in Latin American History


Selected publications

Co-edited with Jane E. Mangan, eds. Women in Colonial Latin America: Texts and Contexts, 1526 to 1806. Indianapolis: Hackett, 2018.

Reproduction and Its Discontents in Mexico: Childbirth and Contraception from 1750 to 1905. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2016.

"'Teaching for Tomorrow?': Disseminating History in an Era of Fiscal Anxiety," The History Teacher 49:3 (May 2016), 419-441. 

“Sacred Defiance and Sexual Desecration: María Getrudis Arévalo and the Holy Office in Eighteenth-Century Mexico,” in Sexuality and the Unnatural in Colonial Latin America. Edited by Zeb Tortorici. (Oakland: University of California Press, 2016), 23-42.

“Reconceiving Motherhood: Infanticide and Abortion in Late Colonial Mexico.” The Journal of Family History, 37:1 (January 2012), 3-22.

“Monstrous Births and Creole Nationalism in Late Colonial Mexico.” The Americas: A Quarterly Review of Inter-American Cultural History 68:2 (October 2011), 179-207.

Co-edited with Edward W. Osowski and Susie S. Porter, Mexican History: A Primary Source Reader. Boulder: Westview Press, 2010.

Gender, Religion, and Race in the Colonization of the Americas. Burlington: The Ashgate Publishing Company, 2007 (Women and Gender in the Early Modern World Series).

False Mystics: Deviant Orthodoxy in Colonial Mexico. Lincoln: The University of Nebraska Press, 2004 (Engendering Latin America Series). Paperback edition, 2008.

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