- Professor Linda Newson
- Professor Emerita
- Institute of Languages Cultures and Societies
- Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies Institute of Languages, Cultures and Societies School of Advanced Study Senate House Malet Street London WC1E7HU
- 020 7862 8868
- Email address:
Research Summary and Profile
- Research interests:
- Early Modern
- Summary of research interests and expertise:
Latin America and the Philippines during the Spanish colonial period; the impact of colonial rule on indigenous societies; the Portuguese slave trade to Spanish America; and the history of medicine in early colonial Spanish America.
Spoken Written Spanish Good Good
- Publication Details
Date Details 12-Mar-2021 Supervivencia indígena en la Nicaragua colonial
London: University of London Press
14-Apr-2020 Alchemy and Chemical Medicines in Early Colonial Lima, Peru
Ambix 67(2) (2020): 107-134
07-Apr-2020 Preparando medicinas en Lima durante el temprano periodo colonial (Lima: IEP)
Lima: Instituto de Estudios Peruanos
06-Apr-2020 Cultural Worlds of the Jesuits in Colonial Latin America
02-Apr-2018 Piety, beeswax and the Portuguese African slave trade to Lima, Peru, in the early colonial period
05-Sep-2017 Review of García Loaeza, Pablo and Victoria L. Garrett eds. (2015) The Improbable Conquest: Sixteenth-Century Letters from the Río de la Plata.
Bulletin of Latin American Research Volume 36, Issue 4 Pages 546-547
01-Sep-2017 Making Medicines in Early Colonial Lima, Peru: Apothecaries, Science and Society
01-Nov-2016 The Black Doctors of Colonial Lima: Science, Race, and Writing in Colonial and Early Republican Peru. By José R. Jouve Martín
Hispanic American Historical Review
01-Nov-2016 Review of Before the Middle Passage: Translated Portuguese Manuscripts of Atlantic Slave Trading from West Africa to Iberian Territories
Renaissance Quarterly 69, no. 4 (Winter 2016): 1496-1498.
01-Oct-2016 Matthew James Crawford. The Andean Wonder Drug: Cinchona Bark and Imperial Science in the Spanish Atlantic, 1630–1800.
From: Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences - Volume 71, Number 4, October 2016 pp. 471-473
01-Apr-2016 Review of John Slater, Mar?´aluz Lopez-Terrada and Jose´ Pardo-Tomas, eds, Medical Cultures of the Early Modern Spanish Empire, Ashgate: Farnham, 2014
in European History Quarterly 2016, Vol. 46(2)
01-Aug-2015 Review of Celia Cussen, Black Saint of the Americas: the Life and Afterlife of Martin de Porres
Journal of Latin American Studies 47 (595-96)
27-Apr-2015 The Longue Durée in Filipino Demographic History: The Role of Fertility prior to 1800
In Environment, Trade and Society in Southeast Asia: A Longue Durée Perspective, edited by David Henley and Henk Schulte Nordholt, pp. 78-95. Leiden: Brill, 2015.
10-Oct-2014 Report on the State of UK-based research on Latin America and the Caribbean. London: Institute of Latin American Studies
edited with Antoni Kapcia
01-Jan-2014 Review of Laura E. Matthew, Memories of Conquest: Becoming Mexicano in Colonial Guatemala. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2012
Journal of Historical Geography vol 43 (2014): 184-185
01-Nov-2013 Review of City Indians in Spain’s American Empire: Urban Indigenous Society in Colonial Mesoamerica and Andean South America, 1530-1810 (Brighton, Sussex Academic Press, 2012)
Journal of Latin American Studies 45(4): 821-22
01-Sep-2013 La travesía final. El tráfico esclavista desde Cartagena de indias al Perú a inicios del siglo XVII
Nueva corónica 2 (July 2013): 641-78
01-Aug-2013 The slave trading accounts of Manoel Batista Peres, 1613-1619: double-entry bookkeeping in cloth money,
Accounting History 18(3): 343-365.
01-Aug-2012 Bartering for Slaves on the Upper Guinea Coast in the Early Seventeenth Century
Brokers of Change: Atlantic Commerce and Cultures in Pre-Colonial Western Africa. Toby Green ed., pp.257-282. London: British Academy/OUP
01-Mar-2012 Africans and Luso-Africans in the Portuguese Slave Trade on the Upper Guinea Coast in the Early Seventeenth Century
Journal of African History 53(1): 1-24
01-Jan-2011 Conquest and Pestilence in the Early Spanish Philippines.
2009 Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press. 420 pp. (Philippine edition, Ateneo University Press, 2011)
01-Jan-2009 Mexico City through History and Culture.
2009 (edited with John P. King) London: British Academy/OUP.
01-Jan-2007 From Capture to Sale: The Portuguese Slave Trade to Spanish South America in the Early Seventeenth Century
2007 (with Susie Minchin) Brill, Leiden. 372 pp.
01-Jan-1995 Patterns of Life and Death in Early Colonial Ecuador
1995 Norman and London: University of Oklahoma Press. 505 pp.
01-Jan-1987 Indian Survival in Colonial Nicaragua
1987 University of Oklahoma Press. 466pp. Published in Spanish as Supervivencia indígena en la Nicaragua colonial. Managua: LeaGrupo Editorial, in press.
01-Jan-1986 The Cost of Conquest: Indian Societies in Honduras under Spanish Rule Boulder
1986 Westview Press. 375 pp. Published in Spanish as El costo de la conquista. Tegucigalpa: Guaymuras Press, 1992.
01-Jan-1976 Aboriginal and Spanish Colonial Trinidad: A Study in Culture Contact
1976 London and New York: Academic Press. 354 pp.
Beyond the Pathogen: Cultural Influences on the Impact of Epidemics Viewed from History
Philippine Studies September 2020
Publications available on SAS-space:
Date Details Report on the state of UK-based research on Latin America and the Caribbean
This report looks at how the UK is responding to and engaging with new developments in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). It addresses in detail the importance of carrying out research on the LAC area, new developments affecting Latin American and Caribbean studies in the UK and the scope and patterns of the research being carried out. The size and composition of the research community are profiled, along with institutional affiliations and research concentrations. Findings are presented on the shifting institutional commitments to research into Latin America and the Caribbean and the challenges faced by the LAC research community, including trends in funding for LAC research, the impact of research assessment exercises and constraints on dissemination and publication.
Mar-2016 Review of Gregory T Cushman, Guano and the Opening of the Pacific World: A Global Ecological History, (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013)
Apr-2016 Review of John Slater, Marı´aluz Lopez-Terrada and Jose´ Pardo-Tomas, eds, Medical Cultures of the Early Modern Spanish Empire, Ashgate: Farnham, 2014; 326 pp., 9 figures, 1 table; 9781472428134, £70.00 (hbk)
Nov-2018 Review of Before the Middle Passage: Translated Portuguese Manuscripts of Atlantic Slave Trading from West Africa to Iberian Territories, 1513–26, Ed. by Trevor P. Hall. Farnham: Ashgate, 2015.
Oct-2016 Review of Crawford, The Andean Wonder Drug: Cinchona Bark and Imperial Science in the Spanish Atlantic, 1630-1800, for the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Nov-2016 Review of The Black Doctors of Colonial Lima: Science, Race, and Writing in Colonial and Early Republican Peru. By José R. Jouve Martín.
Sep-2017 Review of García Loaeza, Pablo and Victoria L. Garrett eds. (2015) The Improbable Conquest: Sixteenth-Century Letters from the Río de la Plata. The Pennsylvania State University Press (University Park, PA).
Apr-2018 Piety, beeswax and the Portuguese African slave trade to Lima, Peru, in the early colonial period
The demand for beeswax for liturgical and medicinal purposes in the Americas vastly increased with the arrival of the Spanish. However, the absence of bees in early colonial Peru meant that this demand could not be met locally so that beeswax and candles had to be imported. While some beeswax was imported from Spain and from other American regions, an alternative source emerged with the Portuguese slave trade from Senegambia where the product was abundant. Using the account books of one of the main slave traders to Peru, Manuel Bautista Pérez, this paper follows the trajectory of the beeswax from Senegambia to Lima, via Cartagena de Indias and the Panamanian isthmus. It reveals how the trade in an everyday product might link producers and consumers in distant regions and how it was dependent on social relationships, cultural values and ecological conditions that were geographically and historically contingent. It shows how the beeswax trade was inextricably linked to the operation of the Portuguese slave trade so that when Portugal lost the monopoly contract for the introduction of slaves to Spanish America in 1640, the beeswax trade from Africa evaporated despite ongoing demand and profitability. Subsequently Lima imported most of its beeswax from Europe or other American regions, but the operation and profitability of the trade continued to be influenced by the same factors that characterised the trade from Africa. Due the centrality of bees to the story, it reveals how animals may play an important role in history even if they are not regarded as active agents and their significance is circumscribed by humans.
Jan-2019 Newson (2019) Review of Secret Cures of Slaves by Londa Schiebinger
Apr-2020 Alchemy and Chemical Medicines in Early Colonial Lima, Peru
The article explores the use of minerals and the nature of chemical methods employed in Lima in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. It does so through examining the availability of mineral resources, including pre-European knowledge of their use, through surveying the books and equipment used by physicians and apothecaries, and finally by examining prescriptions for medicines that were used to treat patients. It concludes that minerals were probably more commonly employed inmedicines in Lima than in Spain but suggests that their preparation and use at this time drew on Spain’s alchemical tradition rather than on writings by Paracelsus and his followers. It argues that this did not reflect the effectiveness of censorship by the Inquisition.
Jun-2020 Beyond the Pathogen: Cultural Influences on the Impact of Epidemics Viewed from History
The paper reflects on the current Covid-19 pandemic from the perspective of the cultural history of epidemics, primarily in Latin America and the Philippines.
- Research Projects & Supervisions
Current PhD topics supervised:
Dates Details From: 01-Jan-2015
Materiality and Production of Hispanic American Books
Jose Luis Guevara Salamanca
Antoine René Larcher, his ‘Project of expedition to Salvador (Brazil) 1797’ and the global competition for the South Atlantic
Marilia Arantes Silva Moreira
Beyond the Bulls: The Life and Afterlives of St. Francisco Solano. Unravelling the First Canonisation Process in the New World and its Unpredictable Fade into Oblivion
Carlos Piccone Camere
Astrological medicine in early modern colonial Americas, particularly Peru.
- Professional Affiliations
Name Activity Latin America Bureau Canning House Latin American and Caribbean Panel at the British Academy Chair
Name Type Activity Start date End date Journal of Latin American Studies Editorial Board 2012 Journal of Historical Geography Editorial Board 2006
- Relevant Events
Date Details 23-Jul-2019 Practising medicine in early colonial Lima, Peru
History of Science Conference, Utrecht
24-May-2018 Latin American Studies in the UK
LASA conference in Barcelona
09-May-2018 Apothecaries and Native Materia Medica in Early Colonial Lima, Peru
University of Cambridge
17-Nov-2017 The Cultural Legacy of the Jesuits in Colonial Latin America
01-Aug-2017 Apothecaries and Native Materia Medica in Early Colonial Lima, Peru
Nature and medicine conference at FIOCRUZ, Rio de Janiero
07-Apr-2017 Pierty, beeswax and the African slave trade to Peru in the early colonial period
Society of Latin American Studies annual conference, Glasgow
01-Mar-2014 Experimentation and innovation in early modern Peruvian medicine.
American Society for Environmental History, San Francisco
01-Nov-2013 Experimentation and innovation in early modern Peruvian medicine.
Queens University, Belfast
01-Oct-2013 Variaciones geográficas en la dieta de los esclavos africanos: la herencia del Viejo Mundo y los destinos del Nuevo Mundo en el periodo colonial temprano.
University of Oviedo, Spain
01-Jan-2012 Materia medica, boticarios and the medicine trade in Lima in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries
54th International Congress of Americanists, Vienna
01-Jan-2011 Fertility: A neglected dimension of demographic change in the pre- and early Spanish Philippines
01-Jan-2011 Medical Practice in Spain and Early Spanish America: the role of apothecaries
Queen’s University, Belfast.
01-Jan-2010 Conquest and Pestilence in the Early Spanish Philippines
International Economic History Conference, Amsterdam