In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World, Kirsten Silva Gruesz, a Professor of Literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz, joins us to explore the life and work of Cotton Mather, a Boston Puritan minister who actively sought to counteract the work of Catholic conversion, with details from her book Cotton Mather’s Spanish Lessons: A Story of Language, Race, and Belonging in the Early Americas (Harvard University Press, 2022).
Kirsten Silva Gruesz is a professor of Literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research specialty is in comparative studies of the Americas, Chicano, and Latino literary cultures, and literature in the 19th-century United States. She’s the author of numerous articles and two books.
During our investigation of Cotton Mather’s life and work, Kirsten reveals Mather’s background and interest in Spanish activities across the Americas; How Mather, an English minister in colonial Boston, learned the Spanish language; And details about Mather’s religious tract, La Fe del Christiano, and how Mather used the Spanish language as a tool of English and Protestant empire.
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Ben Franklin’s World is an award-winning podcast. It’s for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our world. Each episode features an interview with a historian who shares their unique insights into our early American past. It is a production of Colonial Williamsburg Innovation Studios.
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