Ronald Briggs

Associate Professor of Spanish and Latin American Cultures




205A Milbank
Monday and Tuesday 11:30 am-1:00 pm (Spring 2020)


Ronald Briggs studies the convergence of education and literary theory in the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Americas. He joined the faculty of Barnard College in 2008, having taught at Bard College and New York University, where he served as managing editor of the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies.

He is the author of  two books, The Moral Electricity of Print: Transatlantic Education and the Lima Women's Circuit, 1876-1910 (Vanderbilt University Press, 2017), and Tropes of Enlightenment in the Age of Bolívar: Simon Rodrí­guez and the American Essay at Revolution (Vanderbilt University Press, 2010), and his articles have appeared in the Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, Studies in Travel WritingDieciochoJournal of Spanish Cultural Studies and Decimonónica.

  • B.A., Sewanee: The University of the South
  • M.A., Middlebury College
  • Ph.D., New York University

18th- and 19th-Century Latin American Cultures

  • CPLS  BC3124 Utopian Literature
  • SPAN G6013 Socialists, Abolitionists, and the Politics of Community 
  • SPAN G6565 Feminism, Print Culture, and the Pan-American Reader
  • SPAN G6112 New World Savants and Pedagogues
  • SPAN BC 3446 Venezuela: Robbery & Nature
  • SPAN BC 3454 Vice and Virtue
  • SPAN BC3435 Language and Revolution
  • SPAN UN3350 Hispanic Cultures II
  • FYS BC 1285 Global Lit.: New World Utopians and Rebels


The Moral Electricity of Print: Transatlantic Education and the Lima Women's Circuit, 1876-1910, Vanderbilt University Press, 2017.

Tropes of Enlightenment in the Age of Bolívar: Simón Rodríguez and the American Essay at Revolution, Vanderbilt University Press, 2010.

Interview of Morela Maneiro, “Poetry and Politics in Kari´ña Territory,” NACLA Report on the Americas, vol. 54, no. 1, Spring 2022, pp. 117-123.

“De Brooklyn a Cauca: esclavismo y propiedad en el discurso transnacional conservador a partir de las revoluciones de 1848.” Sensibilidades conservadoras. El debate cultural sobre civilización en América Latina y España durante el siglo XIX, edited by Kari Soriano Salkjelsvik. Iberoamericana Vervuert, 2021. pp. 85-115.

“Doubting the Lettered City: Simón Rodríguez, Antonio José de Irisarri, and the Literary Skepticism of Rousseau.” The Routledge Companion to the Hispanic Enlightenment, edited by Elizabeth Franklin Lewis, Mónica Bolufer Peruga, and Catherine M. Jaffe, Routledge, 2019, pp. 83-96.

"The Student as Political Metaphor in El Semanario de Caracas (1810-1811)." Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, vol. 94, no. 5, 2017, pp. 513-528.

"U.S. Travelers and the Cuban Aporia (1859).” Studies in Travel Writing,  vol. 18, no. 1, Feb. 2014, pp. 1-16.

“Biblical Allegory and Creole Chiasmus: The Marquesa Jústiz de Santa Ana’s Dispatches from Occupied Havana (1762).” Dieciocho, vol. 35 no. 2, Fall 2012, pp. 231-54.

“A Napoleonic Bolívar: Historical Analogy, Desengaño, and the Spanish/Creole Consciousness.” Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, vol. 11, no. 3-4,  2010, pp. 337-52.

“El mal de Arequipa y su recompensa: Flora Tristán, el sufrimiento físico y la renunciación del cuerpo.” Estudios: Revista de Investigaciones Literarias y Culturales, vol. 17, no. 34, Jul.-Dec. 2009, pp. 351-76.

“El misterioso viajero francés: perspectiva histórica en La Isla de Robinson.” Arturo Uslar Pietri.  Humanismo y americanismo, Memoria de las VII Jornadas de Historia y Religión, Konrad Adenauer Stifitung/Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, 2008, pp. 77-98.

“‘THE SOLE OBJECT OF ALL MY EFFORTS IS TO DO YOU GOOD’: Robert Owen, Simón Rodríguez and the Saint-Simonist Avant-Garde.” Decimonónica, vol. 5, no. 1, 2008, pp. 1-22.

“‘Plain Boys and Girls’ Meet the Imitative Art: José Martí on the Poetics of Public Education.” Caribe, vol. 10, no. 2, Winter 2007-2008, pp. 7-32.

“Naturaleza y letras: Emerson, Bello, Rodríguez y la ansiedad posrevolucionaria.” Revista de Humanidades: Tecnológico de Monterrey, no. 19, 2005, pp. 43-62.

In The News

Professor Ron Briggs discusses the power and influence of the literary salons of Lima in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, to mark National Latinx/ Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15).

September 18, 2017

Ron Briggs, Associate Professor of Spanish & Latin American Cultures, will publish his second book The Moral Electricity of Print: Transatlantic Education and the Lima Women's Circuit, 1876-1910 on July 18, 2017.

July 17, 2017