Jorge Delgadillo Núñez
2022-2023: SlaveVoyages Postdoctoral Fellow
Jorge Delgadillo is an historian of race, slavery and the African diaspora in Mexico and the Atlantic world at large.
Delgadillo will contribute to the SlaveVoyages database by connecting the routes of the slave trade to Guadalajara with those already in the Intra-American Slave Voyages Database. He will convene a panel about the implications of, as well as possible new directions, for the project. Further, using thousands of notarial documents, he will pen an article about Guadalajara’s slave market.
His second fellowship project, tentatively titled The Myth of Afro-Mexicans’ Disappearance: Calidad, Honor, and Citizenship in Guadalajara, analyzes the emergence, transformations, and disappearance of social classifications associated with African ancestry in Guadalajara during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It also examines issues of black historical memory and erasure in Mexico. Broadly, it demonstrates that Afro-descendants strategically appropriated Spanish terminology about human difference, used it in creative ways to carve a social space for themselves, and dismissed it before independence in favor of a homogenous status of citizens. In so doing, this project contradicts assimilationist interpretations based on twentieth-century Mexican political ideologies of mestizaje, and erasure models that deprive Afro-Mexicans from any agency. This work is crafted as the first book-length study of Afro-Mexicans from Guadalajara as well as the first quantitative and qualitative analysis of the so-called disappearance of Afro-descendants from Mexico.