Inhabitants of expansive, densely populated convents in colonial Latin America often enjoyed surprisingly luxurious, privately owned accommodations. Although known as cells (celdas), these dwellings consisted of multiple rooms occupied by nuns, their female relatives, servants, slaves, and young girls sent to the convents for their educations. Kathryn Santner takes the convent of Santa Catalina de Sena in Arequipa, Peru, as a case study in Money and a Room of One’s Own: Convent Cells and Self-Fashioning in Colonial Peru, examining two spaces within convent cells in particular: the estrado (women’s sitting room) and the oratory. These spaces reveal the role of convent cells in individual nuns’ self-fashioning within the cloister as well as the variety of social practices that took place within the multigenerational, multiethnic households of the colonial celda.

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