Professor Premo is interested in a wide range of topics in Latin American history. Her most recent book, The Enlightenment on Trial: Ordinary Litigants and Colonialism in the Spanish Empire is a comparative study that reveals how ordinary, often illiterate litigants made law modern in the courtrooms of vast regions of the 18th-century Spanish empire. Her first book, Children of the Father King: Youth, Authority and Legal Minority in Colonial Lima (2005), reveals how Lima’s children were socialized into colonial hierarchies and how adults viewed and practiced their roles as authority figures over children in a legal culture that favored elite fathers and distant kings. She also co-edited Raising an Empire (2007) a volume of historical scholarship about children and childhood in early modern Spain, Portugal and colonial Latin America. She has authored over a dozen articles and multiple book chapters on colonial Peru and Mexico and early modern Spain in the fields of legal studies, ethnohistory, gender and family history and Atlantic history. Her next research projects involve delving deeper into the history of childhood and gender and expanding her research into the twentieth century.
Professor Premo has a lot of fun exposing undergraduate students to Latin America's dynamic past in large introductory courses, as well as offering specialized upper-level courses on themes such as gender and colonial Latin American society. At the graduate level, she shares with students her longstanding fascination with everyday forms of colonial rule, along with broader interests in law, colonial and postcolonial theory, and the eighteenth-century Atlantic World.