Ronald Briggs

Associate Professor of Spanish and Latin American Cultures

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.

His 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 Writing, Dieciocho, Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies and Decimonónica.

Academic Focus: 

18th- and 19th-Century Latin American Cultures


Comparative Literature and Society BC3124 Utopian Literature

Spanish G6565 Feminism, Print Culture, and the Pan-American Reader

Spanish G6112 New World Savants and Pedagogues

Spanish W3990 Senior Seminar: Travel, Empire and Cosmopolitanism in the Hispanic World

Spanish BC 3446 Venezuela: Robbery & Nature

Spanish BC 3469 Pan-Americanism

Spanish BC 3454 Vice and Virtue

Spanish BC 3267 Transatlantic Travel Writing (In Translation)

Spanish W3435 Language and Revolution

FYS BC 1285 Global Lit.: New World Utopians and Rebels

Spanish W3350 Hispanic Cultures II

Spanish W3330 Introduction to the Study of Hispanic Cultures




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.



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

“‘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.




B.A., Sewanee: The University of the South

M.A., Middlebury College

Ph.D., New York University

In the News

The power and influence of the literary salons of Lima in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

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.