History Department
History Department

Lizeth Elizondo

M.A. Latin American Studies, California State University, San Diego, B.A. & B.S. California State University, Chico.

Ph.D. Candidate, Graduate School CMAS Fellow (2016-17), Ford Fellow (2015-16)
Lizeth Elizondo



Colonial Latin American History, Family History, Women, Gender, Religion, Sexuality, Mexican-American, Latino/a, Chicana/o history, the Spanish Colonial Borderlands (Texas/Louisiana/Northern Mexico regions).


My dissertation, “Sex, Deviance, and Drama: Socio-Racial Relationships in the Texas-Coahuila Borderlands, 1716-1821” draws on criminal court cases from the region of Coahuila and Texas to investigate the ways officials and community members, monitored, judged, punished, disregarded and condoned sexual transgressions. Coahuila and Texas were sister frontier regions and the archival record displays the interlace of their social, economic, and law enforcement networks. People shared extramarital and clandestine sexual encounters that were in theory, under both the civil and ecclesiastical jurisdictions criminal offenses. 

 My project explores the mechanisms of the colonial legal system as it functioned on the frontier, the recourses available to the defendants, as well as the social, cultural, and the religious milieu of those living under Spanish rule. Although local practices and punishments varied, transgressors still risked being treated as criminals jailed and punished with fines, exile, and social embarrassment. I argue that the prosecution of "illicit" sex was not paramount for officials nor denizens since they often ignored "bad" or "sinful" liaisons for decades. My investigation reveals vendettas, feuds, and jealousies propelled charges. Those that partook in "criminal" sexual liaisons often did so to assert their freedom of choice, sexuality, and intimacy. 

Handbook of Texas Online Contributions

These are my contributions to the TSHA Handbook of Texas Online Tejano project: 

Maria Josefa Granados 

Francois LaBorde

 LaBorde House