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Nicole Hughes' Article Published in Renaissance Quarterly

Renaissance Quarterly Fall 2023 Issue 3 Cover

"Fiestas Fit for a King: Contested Symbolic Regimes of Power in New Spain," by Nicole T. Hughes was published in Renaissance Quarterly, Volume 76, Issue 3 by Cambridge University Press in Fall 2023.

Abstract: After Viceroy Don Luis de Velasco died in 1564, royal officials watched with trepidation as the conquistadores’ descendants adopted heraldry, hereditary titles, and royal ceremony, supposedly in jest. Scholars have argued that the royal judges used these over-the-top fiestas to frame powerful settlers for sedition. This article instead argues that the royal judges’ obsession with how wealthy settlers adopted royal pomp and circumstance, on the one hand, and refusal to recognize how they imprecisely imitated the Mexica nobility, on the other, helped to consolidate Spanish power—symbolic and literal—in New Spain.