Carolina González

Senior Fellow

University of Chile, Chile

© González

Academic Profile

Name of the Project: `With her personal service`: Domestic work and manumission by coartación. Enslaved and freed women in Chile, 1770-1823

My research project at the BCDSS focuses on the relationship between the so-called “domestic work- affective labor” and the forms of manumission of enslaved and freed women in Chile between 1770-1823, during the “enlightened slave reformism” and the gradual abolition of slavery, also the late colonial period and during the Independence struggles .

More precisely, it aims to describe and analyze the valuation, in money, services and affection, that they made of their labor to buy their own freedom, or that of their daughters or granddaughters. This form of manumission by self-purchase was known in the Spanish Empire as coartación.

I am interested in approaching the forms of liberation in colonial Chile from an intersectional approach that highlights the “coloniality of gender”, and in a context of increasing manumissions and lawsuits for freedom between 1770 and 1823. In Chile, formal practices of liberation (notaries and courts) would have been of special interest to enslaved women compared to men. In the case of judicial requests for freedom, I have identified two general axes: first, redemption from captivity and, second, transitory enslavements . For this project, I am interested in the first axis, where the judicial and social strategy of ransom payment, coartación, or self-purchase stands out.

Therefore, with emphasis on Chile and in the context of the end of the colonial period and the beginning of the republic, the project I propose allows us to know both the resistance and negotiations of enslaved women in relation to their labor and questions us on the definitions of enslaved domestic work as well as on the theoretical-methodological approaches in this regard.

since 2003
Professor, University of Chile, Faculty of Philosophy and Humanities, Department of Historical Sciences and Center for Gender Studies and Culture in Latin America-CEGECAL (Universidad de Chile, Facultad de Filosofía y Humanidades, Departamento de Ciencias Históricas y Centro de Estudios de Género y Cultura en América Latina-CEGECAL).

Doctoral Studies in History, Centro de Estudios Históricos (CEH), El Colegio de México.

Master Studies in Gender Studies and Culture, mention in Humanities, Universidad de Chile

Degree in History, Instituto de Historia, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

Books (written in Spanish, titles have been translated)

  • 2016. African women and Afro- descendants: Experiences of slavery and freedom in Latin America and Africa (16th to 19th centuries), Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, México, co-coordinated with Velázquez, María Elisa.
  • 2014. Slaves demanding justice. Chile, 1740-1823. Judicial documentation by letter of freedom and paper of sale, Editorial Universitaria, Chile.

Articles (written in Spanish, titles have been translated)

  • 2022. “The Free Womb Law and its paradoxical condition: an intersectional approach (Chile, 1811-1823)”. Anuario Del Instituto De Historia Argentina, 22(2), e171.
  • 2021. “ ‘Faithfulness and love’: Naming the affective labor. Freed mulatas and the recognition of the manumission at the courts (Mexico City and Santiago, end of the 18th century and beginning of the 19th century)” , Revista Historia y Justicia, nº17
  • 2021. “Enslaved women and the use of the partus sequitur ventrem at courts: inscribing maternal ancestry and intervening in the gender-racialized archive in Colonial Chile”, Estudios del ISHIR, vol. 11, nº30, 2021 https://ojs.rosario-

Book chapters (written in Spanish, titles have been translated)

  • 2017. “Slavery in Judicial Records and Freedom Laws. Chile, 1810-1823”, in Jaime Valenzuela Márquez (ed.), America in Diasporas. Slavery and Forced Migrations (16th-19th centuries), Instituto de Historia, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile / RIL Editores, Chile, pp.113-129.
  • 2016. “ ‘I find their cruelty intolerable’. Pain for cruelty and lawsuits for the sale of black and mulatto slaves. Santiago, 1700-1800”, in María Eugenia Albornoz Vásquez, Feelings and Justices. Emotional coordinates in the invoice of judicial experiences. Chile, 1650-1990, Acto Editores, Chile, pp.126-153.
  • 2014. “Residence, transit and escape. An approach to slave litigation between Valparaíso and Santiago (1743-1813)”, in María José Correa (coordinator), Justice and Everyday Life in Valparaíso, XVII- XX Centuries, Acto Editores, UNAB, Chile, pp.96-119.

Book chapters in English

  • 2016. “Afro-Descendant Slaves in the Legal System of Colonial Chile, 1770- 1823”, in Paul E. Lovejoy and Vanessa S. Oliveira (eds.), Slavery, Memory, Citizenship, Africa World Press, Trenton, New Jersey, EE.UU., pp.27-51.

[see hereálezUndurraga for a full and regularly updated list]

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