Aaron Stamper

Alumni; Ph.D. 2023

Aaron Stamper is a religious and cultural historian specializing in late medieval and early modern Iberia, Mediterranean, and Europe. His interdisciplinary background and interests in interreligious relations, ethnicity, race, and gender have led him to explore methods from sensory studies and apply them in his work. In May 2023, he defended his dissertation – a sensory history of Granada, Spain from the 15th- 17th centuries – and received his PhD under the direction of Anthony Grafton. Aaron also holds a dual MA in History and Religious Studies from the University of Colorado, Boulder, as well as a dual BA in Spanish and Religious Studies from the University of New Mexico. His work has been supported by the U.S. Fulbright Research Award, the Charlotte W. Newcombe Dissertation Fellowship, and the Princeton University Center for Culture, Society, and Religion.

Currently, Aaron is transforming his dissertation, “Reconfigured and Remade: A Sensory History of Islamic Granada’s Reformation as a Civitas Christiana, 1474-1614,” into a monograph. His project shows how Catholic efforts to convert Granadans and restructure the city’s built environment embodied their greater ambition to establish a civitas christiana – the New Jerusalem and ideal Christian community on Earth. His work is also about resistance to those transformations – distinct reactions from one person to the next, and all within the changing sensorial landscape of an increasingly Catholic city. He foregrounds the stories of Granada’s marginalized to provide a comprehensive understanding of religious practice and conversion, of political activism and resistance, and of the ways in which perceptions of gender, racial, and ethnic differences came together in the west.

His recent publication in The Sixteenth Century Journal, “Melodies of Doves, Clamor from the Towers: The Dawn of Granada’s Sonic Conversion,” explores of the shifting soundscape of Granada, Spain, following the Catholic conquest of 1492. He has also collaborated with Granada’s Department of the National Organization of Spanish Blind People (ONCE) to edit, present, and publish an article based from archival documents on the blind community of 16th-century Granada. He has published an online story-map article for The Spain-North Africa Project, which allows readers to follow the travels of a Spanish-Christian soldier and a Spanish-Muslim diplomat through the 16th- and 17th-century Mediterranean.

Before attending Princeton, Aaron held multiple graduate and teaching assistant positions at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and worked as a Teaching Auxiliar for the Spanish Ministry of Education. At Princeton, he served as Co-Organizer of Princeton University’s Race Before Modernity Book Club, as a Teaching Fellow for the Princeton Global History Lab in collaboration with La Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero (UNTREF) in Buenos Aires, and taught as an Assistant in Instruction for the Department of History. He is currently a Lecturer for Princeton’s History Department.

Degree Year
Year of Study
Area of Interest
Cultural History
Disability History
Gender & Sexuality
Race & Ethnicity
Sensory History
Soundscape Studies
Home Department & Other Affiliations
15th & 16th Centuries
17th & 18th Centuries