Laura Dierksmeier

Assoziierte Kollegiatin


Universität Tübingen
Graduiertenkolleg 1662 „Religiöses Wissen“

Fachbereich Geschichtswissenschaft der Universität Tübingen

Wilhelmstraße 19

72074 Tübingen


+49 (0)7071/29-77391

E-mail:laura.dierksmeierspam prevention@uni-tuebingen.de

Education and Employment Summary

2016 - 7/2017

Universität Tübingen (Germany), German Research Foundation (DFG) Project

Interdisciplinary Research Group: Religious Knowledge in Premodern Europe: Transfers and Transformations


2012 - 2016

PhD in Early Modern History

Universität Tübingen

Part Time Employment (Research Assistant)

2009 - 2012

MA in Spanish (History, Literature, Art History

Simmons College, Boston

Part Time Employment (Program Coordinator; Archive Project)

Volunteer Service (Refugee Resettlement, Translator)

2007 - 2009

Full Time Employment

(Immigration Law, Boston)

2006 - 2007

Internship: Madrid, Spain (Law Firm)


Semester Abroad

Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Seville, Spain

2002 - 2007

BA in Spanish and Business Management

Stonehill College, Easton

Part Time Employment (Law Firm)



Latin American Studies Association Travel Grant


Academy of American Franciscan History Fellowship


Distinguished Graduate Student for Civic Engagement Award


President, Spanish Honors Society


Community Service Leadership Award

PhD Thesis

Charity for and by the Poor: Franciscan and Indigenous Confraternities in Mexico, 1526-1700

1st Advisor Prof. Dr. Renate Dürr (Early Modern History)

2nd Advisor Prof. Dr. Andreas Holzem (Catholic Theology)

Oral Defense July 11, 2016

PhD Abstract

Early modern confraternities, in contradistinction to guilds, welcomed also unemployed, disabled, female, young, and elderly members into their pious, fraternal organizations. These variegated groups operated in most towns in colonial Mexico; more than 300 religious confraternities worked in Mexico City alone within the first decades after the Spanish conquest. Despite their ubiquity, little is known about their contribution to the formation of a new hybrid society following the fall of the Aztec Empire. To address this research gap, my thesis analyses archive sources from Mexico, Spain, USA, and Germany to demonstrate the extensive hospital administration, orphan care, prisoner assistance and debt relief carried out by many indigenous groups within a new Catholic framework. As both recipients and providers of care, poor indigenous inhabitants created their own post-conquest solidarity networks.