Caterina Luigia Pizzigoni

Caterina Luigia Pizzigoni

Associate Professor

321 Fayerweather Hall
Phone: (212) 854-8709
Office Hours: ON LEAVE

Latin American History at Columbia University


Ph.D. — King's College, London, UK, 2002
M.A. — University of London, 1998
B.A. — Universita' degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy, 1996

Interests and Research

Caterina Pizzigoni, associate professor, specializes in Latin American history.  Her research interests include indigenous populations in colonial Latin America and the study of sources in Nahuatl (indigenous language of central Mexico), household and material culture, gender issues, church and government policies with respect to conversion, education, and integration of indigenous populations.

Prof. Pizzigoni's interview with New Book Network on her book The Life Within can be found here.


  • Primary Texts of Latin American Civilization
  • Comparative Topics in Religious History: Medieval Europe and Early Latin America
  • Introduction to Historical Methodology in Latin American History
  • Introduction to Historical Interpretation and Methods
  • Historiography of Colonial Latin America
  • The Nahua World
  • Indigenous Worlds of Early Latin America
  • Gender and Sexualities in Early Latin America
  • Latin American Civilization I
  • Contemporary Western Civilizations
  • Senior Thesis Seminar


  • Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies, Princeton University, Fellowship 2013-2014
  • General Studies Student Council Excellence in Teaching Award 2012-2013
  • Lenfest Distinguished Columbia Faculty Award 2012-2013
  • Columbia Mentoring Initiative Award, 2008
  • Research Fellow in History, Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship, Institute for the Study of the Americas, University of London, UK, 2004 - 2006
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Institute of Latin American Studies, University of London, 2002 - 2004
  • Visiting Research Fellowship, Escuela de Estudios Hispano-Americanos, Seville, Spain, 2003
  • Ph.D. Grant from the British Federation of Women Graduates Charitable Foundation, London, 2001
  • Ph.D. Scholarship from the University of London, 2001
  • Ph.D. Scholarship from the Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores of Mexico and Ministero degli Affari Esteri of Italy, 2000

Selected Publications


The Life Within: Local Indigenous Society in Mexico's Toluca Valley, 1650-1800. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2012.

Testaments of Toluca. Stanford University Press, 2007

Scholarly Articles

“A Language Across Space, Time, and Ethnicity.” Commentary to the special issue ofEthnohistory, A Language of Empire, A Quotidian Tongue: The Uses of Nahuatl in New Spain 59, 4 (2012): 785–790

"Late Nahuatl Testaments from the Toluca Valley: Indigenous-Language Ethnohistory in the Mexican Independence Period," with Miriam Melton-Villanueva, Ethnohistory 55, 3 (2008): 361-391

"Region and Subregion in Central Mexican Ethnohistory: The Toluca Valley, 1650-1760," Colonial Latin American Review 16, 1 (2007): 71-92

"Alternative Sex and Gender in Early Latin America," commentary to the special issue of Ethnohistory, Sexual Encounters/Sexual Collisions: Alternative Sexualities 54, 1 (2007): 187-194

"Amid Idealisation and Practice: Archbishops, Local Clergy, and Nahuas in the Toluca Valley, 1712-1765," Swedish Missiological Themes 91, 2 (2003): 249-73

"Tra assimilazione e resistenza: il ruolo delle donne Nahua nelle comunità del Valle de Toluca, XVIII secolo," Quaderni di Thule 1 (2002): 255-62 (special publication of the XXIII International Congress of Americanists in Italy)

Book Chapters

“Ver ‘desde adentro’. Apuntes de investigación sobre testamentos en náhuatl, 1650–1780.” In Códices y documentos de tradición indígena del Estado de México, edited by Xavier Noguez and Raymundo Martínez. Toluca, Mexico: El Colegio Mexiquense (forthcoming 2014)

“Where Did All the Angels Go? An Interpretation of the Nahua Supernatural World.” In Angels, Demons and the New World, edited by Fernando Cervantes and Andrew Redden. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013, 126–145

“Sources for Indigenous Women and Men in the Valley of Toluca, Eighteenth Century,” in Sources and Methods for the Study of Postconquest Mesoamerican Ethnohistory, James Lockhart, Lisa Sousa, and Stephanie Wood, editors (electronic version:, 2008)

"El espacio compartido. Relaciones familiares en el hogar indígena, Valle de Toluca, siglo XVIII," in Tradiciones y conflictos. Historias de la vida cotidiana en México e Hispanoamérica, Pilar Gonzalbo Aizpuru and Mila Bazant, editors (Mexico, D.F.: El Colegio de México, and El Colegio Mexiquense, 2007), pp. 145-160

"'Como frágil y miserable': las mujeres nahuas del Valle de Toluca," in Historia de la vida cotidiana en México, vol. 3, El siglo XVIII: entre tradición y cambio, Pilar Gonzalbo Aizpuru, editor (Mexico, D.F.: Fondo de Cultura Econ?mica, 2005), pp. 501-30

"'Para que le sirva de castigo y al pueblo de exemplo'. El pecado de poligamia y la mujer indígena en el Valle de Toluca (siglo XVIII)," in Las mujeres en la construcción de las sociedades iberoamericanas, Berta Ares Queija and Pilar Gonzalbo Aizpuru, editors (Seville and Mexico, D.F.: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Escuela de Estudios Hispano-Americanos, and Centro de Estudios Históricos, El Colegio de México, 2004), pp. 193-217


  • American Society of Ethnohistory
  • American Historical Association
  • Conference on Latin Amerian History - AHA
  • Northeastern Group of Nahuatl Studies
  • Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, Columbia University
  • Institute of Latin American Studies, Columbia University
  • Institute for Research on Women and Gender, Colulmbia University