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Karin Velez, Professor of History, March 2015


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Karin Velez is Assistant Professor of History at Macalester College, and a 2014-15 visiting fellow at the IAS. Vélez is especially interested in spiritual encounters, comparative empire, the spread of Catholic devotion, the experience of indigenous women on the American frontiers, and the communal formulation of myths. In researching her manuscript, “Catholic Landings in the Early Modern World: Jesuits, Converts and the Collective Miracle of Loreto,” she followed a trail of documents from colonial and Jesuit archives in Lisbon, Sevilla, Madrid, Paris, Rome and Toronto, to missionary outposts in Québec and the Bolivian Amazon. Currently she is researching how Catholicism in the late 1600s was carried to new sites by refugees including Slavs from coastal Dalmatia, the Huron of Canada, and the Moxos Indians of Peru. Vélez is also investigating the roles of weeping, physical displacement, and failed miracles in religious belief. She has published and presented widely about flying Holy Houses, naming, gifting of wampum belts and other modes of transoceanic religious exchange.

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