Brais Lamela Gómez

Brais Lamela Gómez's picture
Ph.D. Student

Brais Lamela is a PhD student in the Departments of Spanish & Portuguese and Early Modern Studies at Yale University. He is currently working on the literary history of property in the Spanish Empire (1520-1570). Using sources in Spanish, Latin, and Indigenous languages, his research examines how colonial subjects developed distinctive “fictions of property,” that is, narratives to justify their ownership claims. His research brings literary studies in conversation with ethnohistory, legal scholarship, and Indigenous studies to analyze an expansive archive including cadastral records, codices, maps, administrative documents, and legal cases. By connecting canonical legal and political debates on property in Europe with situated arguments by Indigenous peoples, peasants, and other colonial actors across the Americas, his research explores how modern ideas of ownership emerged from a colonial legal battleground, where property functioned both as a tool of dispossession and empowerment.

Brais graduated from Brown University (Comparative Literature BA, summa cum laude) and the University of Cambridge (European Literature and History MPhil, First Class Honours). He is also a fiction writer in the Galician language. His debut novel, Ninguén queda, was awarded the Narrative Critics Award in Spain.

Spanish & Portuguese and Early Modern Studies