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Dr. Nino Vallen


Freie Universität Berlin

Institute for Latin American Studies

Research Associate and Lecturer

Latin American History

Rüdesheimer Str. 54-56
Room Raum 229
14197 Berlin

Office hours

Monday, 12:00-14:00

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Nino Vallen is Research Associate and Lecturer in Latin American History at Freie Universität Berlin since 2014. 

Nino Vallen studied history at the Radboud University Nijmegen (2010) and completed his doctoral dissertation at the Freie Universität Berlin (2016). He was a fellow of the International Research Training Group "Between Spaces" (Germany-Mexico) and the Slicher van Bath De Jong Fund (The Netherlands). He teaches courses in Early Modern History, Latin American Colonial History, and Global History with a specific focus on material culture. 

He is currently completing a book manuscript titled Being the Heart of the World: The Pacific and the Fashioning of the Self in New Spain. This book tells the story of New Spain’s gradual integration into the Pacific Basin and the consequences of this development for the forging of new notions of self and other in the viceroyalty. It studies such little-explored identity transformations through the lens of distributional struggles. In analyzing cosmographies, maps, histories, reports, and art objects produced during specific disputes over wealth, offices, and honors, the work examines how discussions about the establishment and desirability of trans-Pacific connections interacted with more general debates over why some persons deserved certain benefits more than others. As part of these struggles, New Spain’s changing place at the crossroads of trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific routes became a subject of contention between actors moved by competing notions of a deserving self. Reassessing a powerful historiographical narrative on creole identities and worldviews, the book contributes to a broader understanding of the early modern self and the ways in which it was shaped by people’s engagements with a globalizing world.

In a new research project, entitled Worlds of Difference: Global Thinking and the Struggle over (In)equality in Latin America, he explores how struggles over the distribution of opportunities and burdens has shaped ideas about the world as they were articulated in the region. Taking a long-term view, this project seeks to render visible the ways in which such ideas have shaped life in Latin America and perceptions of the region's place in the world from the times of the Conquest to our own days. 


Edited Volumes

  • Nikolaus Böttcher, Stefan Rinke, and Nino Vallen, Distributive Struggle and the Self in the Early Modern Iberian World (Forthcoming). 

Journal Articles

  • “What Distributive Justice Requires:” Negotiating Empire and Local Orders in Sixteenth and Seventeenth-Century New Spain. Revista de Indias (Forthcoming).

  • Conquista, memoria y cultura material en la Nueva España, Siglos XVI y XVII.” Iberoamericana XIX, no. 71 (2019): 13–33.

  • mit Joost van den Oever “De ontdekking van de archeologische geschiedenis. In gesprek met Martijn Eickhoff over de geschiedschrijving en cultureel erfgoed.” ET.VT 27 (2008): 131-140.

Book Chapters

  • Together with Nikolaus Böttcher, “Introduction,” in Distributive Struggle and the Self in the Early Modern Iberian World, edited by Nino Vallen, Nikolaus Böttcher, and Stefan Rinke. (Forthcoming)

  • “The Self and the World in Baltasar Dorantes de Carranza’s Sumaria relación,” in Distributive Struggle and the Self in the Early Modern Iberian World, edited by Nino Vallen, Nikolaus Böttcher, and Stefan Rinke. (Forthcoming)

  • “Building for Justice: Mexico City’s Royal Palace and the Shaping of Imperial Relations,” in Jürgen Günther Nagel (Hg.): Imperiales Bauen (Forthcoming).

  • The Conqueror and the Archive: Social Struggles and Practices of Memorialization in Viceregal New Spain,” in What’s Left Behind. The Lieux de Mémoire of Europe beyond Europe, edited by Marjet Derks, Martijn Eickhoff, Remco Ensel and Floris Meens, 26–32Nijmegen: Vantilt, 2015.

  • “Healing Power: Land Surveying Politics and the Archive of Mendoza’s America (1535-1552),” Las agencias de lo indígena en la larga era de globalización: Microperspectivas de su producción y represetación desde la época colonial temprana hasta el presente, edited by Romy Köhler und Anne Ebert. Estudios Indiana des Iberoamerikanischen Instituts PK 7, 77–98. Berlin: Gebr. Mann Verlag, 2015.

  • “Social Conflicts and Pacific Spaces: Connections between the East and West in the Making of Creole America,” in Latin America and Asia – Relations in the Context of Globalization from Colonial Times to the Present, edited by Carlos Alba, Marianne Braig, and Stefan Rinke, 27–73. Stuttgart: Verlag Hans-Dieter Heinz, Akademischer Verlag, 2014.

  • Buscando el orden oriental. Agencias novohispanos y la invención discursiva de un mundo conectado,” in Intercambios, actors, enfoques. Pasaje de la historia latinoamericanaen una perspectiva global, edited by Aaron Grageda Bustamanta, 101–116. Hermosillo: Universidad de Sonora, 2014. 

Book Reviews