Select Page

Klinton Burgio-Ericson


Mellon Fellow

Affiliation at time of award:
Postdoctoral Fellow
Department of Anthropology
University of New Mexico

Klinton Burgio-Ericson, SAR 2022 Mellon Fellow Resident Scholar

Klinton Burgio-Ericson
Photo courtesy of Laurel Burgio-Ericson

In the Celestial City and the Middle Place: Cultural Negotiations in Seventeenth-Century New Mexico Missions

Dr. Burgio-Ericson’s book project explores encounters among Pueblo Indians and Franciscan missionaries in the seventeenth-century Spanish borderlands. His interdisciplinary research demonstrates that mendicant mission residences (conventos) were living and working places for mixed communities of Spanish friars and coerced Indigenous laborers. As part of the dialogue between ritual life and everyday practices within the Zuni missions of western New Mexico, participants navigated divergent Spanish and Pueblo cosmologies through the interrelated regimes of everyday labor and liturgical ritual. Architectural forms and practices of mendicant friars invoked millenarian and monastic ideals, while Pueblo cosmological conceptions of their towns as sacred centers in an animate world persevered. This work illuminates an understudied foundational chapter of American history, emphasizing the crucial role of Native and Latinx people in shaping the contested nature of our society today.