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I am an assistant professor of Spanish at the University of Michigan, working in the field of colonial Latin American studies. My research focuses especially on race and racialization under Spanish colonialism, as well as broader issues of political economy, history, materiality, and indigenous studies/Nahuatl. My first book, Infrastructures of Race: Concentration and Biopolitics in Colonial Mexico (University of Texas Press, 2017), traces a genealogy of the forms and practices of spatial concentration as a technique of colonial governance. It argues that the sites at which bodies and objects were brought together for particular ends constituted a material condition of possibility, or “infrastructure,” for the emergence and consolidation of new racial categories, subjectivities, and theories. One of the key questions the book considers is the relation between these social formations and specific spatial orders, such as centralized towns, disciplinary institutions, segregated neighborhoods, and general collections. Currently, I am working on a new book project about roads, circulation, and race in colonial Mexico during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.


Contact information

4122 Modern Languages Building
University of Michigan
812 E. Washington St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
dnemser at umich dot edu
Faculty page


Image from “Documentos en lengua nahuatl,” Archivo General de Indias, Guatemala 52, fol. 23r.

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