Prof. Velez teaches in pre-1800 global history. Her research interests include the
history of the Atlantic World, early Modern Iberian and French empires, and popular
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
EDUCATION:B.A. Williams College, 1996; M.A. Princeton, 2002; PhD Princeton, 2008.
Velez has been teaching at Macalester since 2011.
Contributions to Books