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Silvia Z. Mitchell

Silvia Z. Mitchell

Associate Professor // History

Associate Professor // Cornerstone

Affiliated Faculty // Medieval and Renaissance Studies // SIS

Affiliated Faculty // Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies // SIS

Affiliated Faculty // Latin American Studies // SIS

Office and Contact

Room: UNIV 308

Office hours:

  • Mondays, 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. (EST)
  • Zoom Meeting ID, Mondays: 881 1949 9975—Passcode: 45DqdU Link:
  • Tuesdays, 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. (EST)
  • Zoom Meeting ID, Tuesdays: 872 6642 9227—Passcode: p4iK8M Link:
  • Summer 2022: By appointment only


Phone: (765) 496-2715

Fax: (765) 496-1755


Undergraduate Courses

Lower division:

HIST 103—Introduction to the Medieval World (offered usually Spring and Maymester)
SCLA 10100—Transformative Texts, Critical Thinking and Communication I

Upper division:

HIST 32105—Spain: The First Global Empire, 1469-1713
HIST 37001—Queens and Empresses in Early Modern Europe
HIST 41505—Gender and Politics in Early Modern Europe
HIST 395—Junior Research Seminar for Majors

Graduate Courses

HIST 610—History: Theory and Methods
HIST 601—Spain, Europe, and the World, 1492-1714
HIST 601—Entangled Histories of European Empires, 1441-1830
HIST 602—Second Year Research Seminar

Ph.D. University of Miami, 2013


Early Modern European history; early modern Spain; queenship, court, women and gender studies

Silvia Z. Mitchell is associate professor in the Department of History at Purdue University. She specializes in early modern European history with a particular focus on the history of the Spanish Monarchy in the later seventeenth century (1665–1700) from national and international perspectives. Fascinated by queenship as a history of female political power and the influence of royal courts on political, cultural, and diplomatic history, Mitchell emphasizes the role of women of the royal House of Habsburg in shaping European international politics. 

Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Mitchell completed all her academic training in the U.S., first at Florida International University, where she received a B.A. (2001) and the M.A. (2006); and then at the University of Miami, where she was awarded the Ph.D. (2013). She joined the Department of History at Purdue University in 2013, where she teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses on early modern European history. In 2019, she received the Jon C. Teaford Faculty Award for excellence in teaching history and was the 2017 and 2018 History Department’s nominee for the Purdue University Early Career Teaching Award. 

Mitchell’s book, Queen, Mother, and Stateswoman: Mariana of Austria and the Government of Spain (Penn State University Press, 2019), is an in-depth and fully archival-based study of the regency and exile of Queen Mariana of Austria, analyzed as a distinct period within the reign of her son, Carlos II (r. 1665-1700). In this work, she highlights the active role Spain played in European international politics and Mariana’s part in reversing Spain’s financial and political difficulties during a period of uncertainty. Mitchell is also the guest editor of the December 2018 special issue of The Court Historian: The International Journal of Court Studies, the leading periodical for the interdisciplinary field of court studies. Titled “The Spanish Habsburg Court during the Reign of Carlos II,” this collection of articles investigates Habsburg etiquette traditions during the rule of a child-king, the role of royal and aristocratic women at court in the queens’ households, and Carlos II’s court as a hub of international diplomacy. She is the author of several peer-reviewed articles and chapters on queens, women, and diplomacy.   

Mitchell is the co-convener with Erica Heinsen-Roach, University of Florida, of the International Symposium, “Ibero-Dutch Entanglements in the Seventeenth Century: Conflict and Collaboration in Global Perspective” that will meet virtually in September 2020.   

She is currently accepting applications from graduate students interested in early modern Spain and its empire in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.