Christopher Valesey joins us this fall to teach online sections of History 150, “The West in the World.” An early modern global historian, he received his PhD in Colonial Latin American History from Penn State University in 2019. While a graduate student, he served as an editorial assistant for the Hispanic American Historical Review. He also briefly worked as a paleographer and translator for PBS’s show, Finding Your Roots. His research interests are in sixteenth-century Mexico, Nahuatl (the language of the Aztec empire), human-animal studies, and cultural change. His dissertation, “Managing the Herd: Nahuas, Animals, and Colonialism in Sixteenth-Century New Spain,” challenges the traditional narrative that livestock and other Old World animals served primarily as unwittingly destructive agents of Spanish colonialism. Dr. Valesey’s first article, “Perseverance of the Eagle-Jaguar Military Ethos in Sixteenth-Century New Spain” is scheduled for publication in The Sixteenth Century Journal.
What was your journey to Ball State?
Like many people on the job market last year, one of the jobs I applied for was unfortunately cancelled in the midst of the interview process. Luckily, Ball State University’s advertisement for an Assistant Teaching Professor popped up later in the summer. I’m glad that I ultimately ended up at Ball State University. Everything seems to happen for a reason!