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Sally Hayes

Marcella (Sally) Hayes is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of history at Harvard University. At CES, she coordinates the Thesis Workshop for Juniors together with Michael Tworek.

Hayes is a historian of the Iberian Atlantic world. Her dissertation, titled “The Black Spaniards: The Color of Political Authority in Seventeenth-Century Lima," examines the ways in which black limeños engaged in politics at local, vice-regal, and imperial levels. Comprising the majority of Lima’s population in the seventeenth century, black people created officially recognized corporate bodies such as confraternities, militias, and guilds that included both free and enslaved people. They defined and defended their community by pursuing legal complaints, participating in civil defense, petitioning the crown, voting for leaders, and organizing festivals. In these interactions with colonial authority, they created a definition of Spanishness that centered their blackness. They carved out space in which enslaved people had not only legal, but civic personhood.

Hayes received her BA in history and Spanish from Cornell University in 2013. She is a former Fulbright-Hays scholar; her work has been supported by multiple research and writing fellowships, including funding from the John Carter Brown Library, the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, the Afro-Latin American Research Institute, and the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

This information is accurate for the time period that the scholar is affiliated with CES.


  • Ph.D. Student in History, Harvard University