Assistant Professor Ana Schaposchnik first joined the History Department at DePaul University in 2007. Having lived in Buenos Aires, Madrid and Madison, Schaposchnik was pleased to move to Chicago, where, despite the cold, she is able to enjoy the cultural offerings of the city. Indeed, she regularly attends jazz and classical concerts at the Chicago Symphony Center.
While her primary unit is in History, Professor Schaposchnik serves as affiliated faculty in Latin American and Latino Studies Program, and in Catholic Studies, in addition to regularly teaching in the Honors Program. With regard to her teaching, Professor Schaposchnik has taught the gamut: from standard history methods courses—such as HST 298: Introduction to Historical Sources and Methods, and HST 299: The Craft of History, to more specialized topics—such as HST 324: Colonial Latin America: The Age of Conquest (15th-17th centuries), and HST 390: Research Practicum on Colonial Latin America. In addition, she offers HST 432: Colonial Latin America for students in the M.A. Program, and will soon offer a Focal Point Seminar on the Inquisition.
Professor Schaposchnik received her first degree at the Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA, Argentina, Department of Anthropology), and started her research and teaching career in Argentina, working at the Universidad de Buenos Aires and at the Universidad National del Centro (Olavarría campus) in the departments of Anthropology. She focused on the Ethnohistory of the Argentine North West, studied local indigenous populations and their response to the Spanish conquest, and she also taught courses in topics of Ethnohistory and Colonial Latin American History. After an initial experience in the field of Ethnohistory, she changed disciplines and pursued a graduate education in History. Upon moving to the United States, she wrote an M.A. thesis titled “Facing the Spanish Conquest at the Frontiers: The Diaguitas of Catamarca, Rebellions and Social Fabric (Argentina, Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries)” with which she completed her Masters Degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (History Department, 1997).
Also in Wisconsin-Madison, she completed the requirements for the Ph.D. with a new research project, studying trials of faith carried out by the Tribunal of the Inquisition in the 1630s in Lima, Peru. For this project she conducted research at archives and national libraries in Madrid, Lisbon, and Lima, using primary sources written in seventeenth century Spanish and Portuguese. This project addresses the complex intersection between colonial Latin American and Jewish History. It focuses on the history of the Lima Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition and the community of New Christians (Conversos) of Portuguese descent who lived in Lima in the 1600s and were accused of crypto-Jewish heresy. The project delves into the presence of Portuguese merchants of New Christian descent in colonial Peru, the trials of faith and their resolution in public ceremonies (Auto de Fe), the crypto-Jewish practices as recorded in inquisitorial sources, the tribunal policies, and also into the prisoners’ agency as manifested throughout the trials. While conducting research in Lima, Peru, in July of 2009 she also had the opportunity of visiting the Museo del Congreso y de la Inquisición. The museum operates in the same facilities where the Lima tribunal of the Inquisition once did, and has been reconstructed to portray the way in which the tribunal worked. At the museum Schaposchnik took this picture depicting a procedural hearing (for more information the reader can also visit their website).
These days, Professor Schaposchnik is revising her book manuscript for publication with the provisional title of “The Lima Inquisition and the Crypto-Jews (Peru, 1600s).” In addition to presentations at professional conferences, a preview of her work can be read in the article “Exemplary Punishment in Colonial Lima: The 1639
Auto de Fe,” published in
Death and Dying in Colonial Spanish America(Miruna Achim and Martina Will de Chaparro editors. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 2011, pp. 121-141).