Pizzigoni, Caterina Luigia

Associate Professor

Office Hours

Spring 2024: Wednesdays, 10:30 am - 12:30 pm



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


Endangered Archives Programme — British Library
International Advisory Panel


Interests and Research

Caterina Pizzigoni specializes in the colonial history of Latin America. Her interests include Indigenous populations, sources in Nahuatl (Indigenous language of central Mexico), social history, household and material culture, religion and gender. You can listen to her interview with Professor Vicky Murillo (Director of ILAS-Columbia) for the podcast series Unpacking Latin America here. And her interview with New Book Network on her book The Life Within can be found here. Her current research focuses on household saints in colonial Mexico, on which you can read this short blog.




  • Colonial Cities of the Americas c. 1500-1800
  • Primary Texts of Latin American Civilization
  • Latin American Civilization I
  • Indigenous Worlds in Early Latin America
  • The Nahua World
  • Gender and Sexualities in Early Latin America
  • Contemporary Western Civilizations II
  • Senior Thesis Seminar



  • Historiography of Colonial Latin America
  • Comparative Topics in Religious History: Medieval Europe and Early Latin America
  • Introduction to Historical Interpretation and Methods (8910)


  • Mark Van Doren Teaching Award, 2017
  • 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



  • Estudios de Cultura Náhuatl, Consejo Editorial 2020-2023
  • ILAS Columbia, Executive Committee
  • Member of Advisory Panel, Endangered Archives Programmes of the British Library, 2015–
  • American Society of Ethnohistory
  • American Historical Association
  • Conference on Latin Amerian History - AHA
  • Northeastern Group of Nahuatl Studies


In Progress

Special Dwellers: Saints and People in the Mexican Household, 1600–1800 (book manuscript).


Indigenous Life After the Conquest: The De la Cruz Family Papers of Colonial Mexico. With Camilla Townsend. Latin American Originals Series. University Park, PA: Penn State University Press, 2021

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

Testaments of Toluca. UCLA Latin American Center Nahuatl Studies Series, 8. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press and UCLA Latin American Center Publications, 2007.

Journal Articles

"A Look from the Household: Historiographical Notes on the Indigenous People of Mexico." Eighteenth-Century Studies 56, 2 (Winter 2023): 189-197.

A Language Across Space, Time, and Ethnicity.” Commentary to special issue of Ethnohistory, A Language of Empire, A Quotidian Tongue: The Uses of Nahuatl in New Spain 59, 4 (2012): 785–90.

"Late Nahuatl Testaments from the Toluca Valley: Indigenous-Language Ethnohistory in the Mexican Independence Period." With Miriam Melton-Villanueva, Ethnohistory 55, 3 (2008): 361–91.

"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 special issue of Ethnohistory, Sexual Encounters/Sexual Collisions: Alternative Sexualities 54, 1 (2007): 187–94.

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

Book Chapters

“In the Church and at Home – Approaches to Saints in Colonial Mexico.” In Formations of Belief. Historical Approaches to Religion and the Secular, edited by Philip Nord, Katja Guenther, and Max Weiss. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2019, 106–124

“El hogar y el individuo: los indígenas a través de sus testamentos en nahuatl.” In Mudables representaciones: el indio en la Nueva España a través de crónicas, impresos y manuscritos, edited by Berenice Bravo Rubio and Clementina Batcock. Mexico City: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, 2017.

“Where Did All the Angels Go? An Interpretation of the Nahua Supernatural World.” In Angels, Demons and the New World, Fernando Cervantes and Andrew Redden, eds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013, 126–45.

“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, eds.

"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, eds. Mexico, DF: El Colegio de México, 2007, 145–60.

"'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, ed. Mexico, DF: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2005, 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, eds. Seville and Mexico, DF: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, El Colegio de México, 2004, 193–217.