Lexie Cook

Lexie Cook


Lexie is a PhD candidate in both Latin American and Iberian Cultures (LAIC) and the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society. She holds a BA in Comparative Literature with a focus on Portuguese, Spanish and Yoruba languages and literatures and a MPhil in Latin American and Iberian Cultures, both from Columbia University, . Before joining LAIC she was a fellow and researcher based first in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil and then in Ibadan, Nigeria.

Her doctoral research examines the refashioning of late-medieval Iberian notions of magic, artifice and fraud in early modern literature, art and jurisprudence in response to new circulations of artifacts, ideas and persons prompted by imperial expansion into West Africa and the so-called New World.

Her dissertation, more concretely, is a historical study of the transformation of a medieval Iberian discourse of vernacular magic—hechicería in Spanish and feitiçaria in Portuguese—in the context of the early modern Iberian expansion into the Atlantic. Her research maps the objects and persons (both legal and literary) associated with this concept of magic from its coinage in medieval law; through its staging in early modern popular theater; accompanying its attribution to West African societies in the reportage of merchant-sailors and as a product of the expansion of inquisitorial jurisdictions into Africa and Brazil; and finally its creolization and bifurcation into the proto-concept of the fetish.

Others interests include the history of magic and technology, medieval and early modern legal and economic thought, translation, cartography, Lusophone Africa and 19th century Brazilian history and literature.