I am a cultural and gender historian, whose work focuses primarily on indigenous Nahua women in central Mexico during the early colonial period (early C16-mid C17). In my doctoral research I look at the participation of Nahua women in producing and selling the alcoholic beverage pulque and how their domination of the trade offered opportunities to negotiate their social position within a colonial state. My doctoral project brings together scholarship from gender history, indigenous history and drinking studies, pursuing an innovative methodology that combines source materials in Spanish, Nahuatl and visual languages.


BA (Hons) German and Arabic, University of Manchester

MA History, University of Manchester

PhD History, University of Leicester
Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of the Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partership.


Working title of doctoral thesis:

‘Nahua Women in the Pulque Trade of Early Colonial Mexico’

This study examines Nahua women’s participation in the production and sale of the alcoholic beverage pulque in early colonial central Mexico from the boom in pulque production of the 1550s to the introduction of increased regulation by the colonial state in 1629. As the use of pulque changed from sacred ritual drink among the pre-Hispanic Nahua to a highly popular commodity under the Spanish colonial system, indigenous women dominated its production and distribution. This project explores how 16th-century Nahua women were not only able to retain an element of their pre-conquest cultural heritage through the pulque trade, but to assert their power in a society that increasingly sought to oppress female autonomy.



Society of Latin American Studies

Postgraduates in Latin America Studies

Natasha Bailey

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