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Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra

Other facultyPh.D., University of Wisconsin

Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra



I am the Alice Drysdale Sheffield Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin. I got my Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.  Before UT, I taught at Illinois State University and SUNY-Buffalo. I have also been a visiting professor at several universities outside the United States, including the Universidade Federal do Ouro Preto (Mariana- Brazil); the Universidade Etaduale de Campinas (Campinas-Brazil); the Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá-Colombia); the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Bogota-Colombia); the FLACSO (Quito-Ecuador);the Universidad de los Andes (Santiago-Chile); and the School of Advanced Studies of the University of London

I have won numerous national fellowships given by the Social Science Research Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities (at the John Carter Brown Library), the Andrew Mellon (at the Huntington Library), the Charles Warren Center for Studies of American History (at Harvard); the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton; and the Donald D. Harrington Fellows Program (at the University of Texas).  I  was the Andrew Mellon Senior Fellow of the John Carter Brown Library in 2010; a Senior Fellow at the Kellogg Institute, University of Notre Dame, in  2014-2015; and a Leverhulme Visting Professor at the University of London in 2016.

I have  received numerous prizes, including the 1999-2001 best article award from the Forum in the History of the Human Sciences of the History of Science Society; the 2001 AHA prize in Atlantic History; the 2001 AHA prize in Latin American and Spanish History; and the 2006-2007 biannual Honorable Mention of the Murdo MacLeod Book Prize of The Latin American and Caribbean Section of the Southern Historical Association. My How to Write the History of the New World was cited among the best books of the year (2001) by The Economist. It also made into the “best book of the year” lists of  TLS and the Independent (London). 


I am the author of more than 60 journal articles and book chapters, as well as of several books: How to Write the History of the New World (Stanford 2001--translated into Spanish and Portuguese); Puritan Conquistadors (Stanford 2006; translated into Spanish); Nature, Empire, and Nation (Stanford 2007); The Atlantic in Global History, 1500-2000 (co-edited, with Erik Seeman), and The Black Urban Atlantic in the Age of the Slave Trade (co-edited with Jim Sidbury and Matt Childs). My edited collection Entangled Empires and Severed Archives: Anglo-Iberian Atlantic Worlds 1500-1830  will be published by University of Pennsylvania Press. I am currently finishing a collection of essays tentatively entitled On Prophets and Hybrid Empires . My ongoing book projectBible and Empire: The Old Testament in the Spanish Monarchy, from Columbus to the Wars of Independence


T C 357 • Hist Of Early Mod Atlantic-W

43580 • Spring 2010
Meets T 200pm-500pm CRD 007A

Semester: Spring 2010
Title: T C 357 - History of the Early Modern Atlantic - W
Substantial Writing Component: Yes
Unique:  43580
Days:  T
Time:  2:00 PM- 5:00 PM
Bldg/Room: CRD 007A
Office: GAR 2.140
Office Hours: T: 11:00 2 pm/ by appointment.
Phone: 475-7694

Course Description:
The history of the European colonial expansion into the New World has lately been changing as scholars question traditional national narratives. US colonial history was more than simply the preface to the foundation of the American nation. The thirteen original colonies were part of a much larger British Empire that included plantations in the Caribbean and Canada and holdings in Africa and India. To understand colonial history we need to understand the British Empire as a whole and its interactions with other empires and continents: Ottoman, Chinese, Japanese, Native American, African, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, and French. This course explores the histories of the peoples whose interactions and struggles shaped colonial history: Native Americans, Africans, Asians, and the various European settlers.

Don’t be put off by the amount of reading in this class. If anything, this class will teach you how to get quickly, accurately, and critically to the argument and structure of books. If you are interested in pursuing a professional or graduate degree, this seminar is cut out for you.  

Grading Policy:
This class is writing intensive and will be conducted as a reading seminar. Students will every week turn in a 1-2 page evaluation of the week's readings (80 %). To get an A, students should clearly identify the argument of the book/article as well as the author's sources and methodology. Students should also bring to class three questions for discussion. Students will write a short, 4 page final paper: a prospectus for future research based on one of the topics tackled by the readings (10%). The remaining 10 % of the grade corresponds to attendance and participation.

Weekly papers: 80 % grade
Participation-attendance: 10 % grade
Final paper: 10 % grade

Most of the following books are available at UT Coop. The books are also available through PCL book reserve (general required readings library use only).

•    Vincent Brown. Reaper’s Garden: Death and Power in the World of Atlantic Slavery (Harvard, 2008)
•    Marcus Rediker, Slave Ship. A Human History (Penguin, 2007)
•    John Thornton,  Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 2nd ed (Cambridge, 1998)
•    David Weber, Bárbaros  (Yale, 2005)
•    David Ringrose,  Expansion and Global Interaction (Longman, 2001)
•    Karen O. Kupperman, The Jamestown Project (Harvard, 2007)
•    Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra, Puritan Conquistadors (Stanford, 2006)
•    Jon Sensbach,  Rebecca's Revival (Harvard, 2005)
•    Daniel K. Richter, Facing East from Indian Country: A Native History of Early America (Harvard, 2001)
•    Brian DeLay. War of a Thousand Deserts. Indian Raids and the US-Mexican War (Yale, 2008)
•    Pekka Hamalainen. The Comanche Empire (Yale, 2008)
•    James Brooks, Captives and Cousins: Slavery, Kinship, and Community in the Southwest Borderlands (North Carolina Press, 2002)
•    Allan Greer, Mohawk Saint: Catherine Tekakwitha and the Jesuits (Oxford 2006)
Jan 19        Intro
Jan 26        Ringrose,  Expansion and Global Interaction
Feb 2        Kupperman. Jamestown
Feb 9         Cañizares-Esguerra, Puritan Conquistadors
Feb 16     Thornton,  Africa and Africans
Feb 23         Rediker, Slave Ship
March 2     Brown, Reaper’s Garden
March 9     Sensbach, Rebecca’s Revival
March 16     Spring Break
March 23     Richter, Facing East
March 30     Weber, Bárbaros  
April 6     Greer. Mohawk Saint
April 13     Instructor out of town
April 20     Brooks. Captives and Cousins
April 27    De Lay. War of Thousand Deserts
May 4        Hamalainen. Comanche Empire Research Proposal due.

Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities, 471-6259.



Our America

Published in Not Even Past on February 4, 2014

Iberian Colonial Science

Published in Apuntes, a Latino Journal on September 11, 2013

Shores of Knowledge

Published in Not Even Past on March 31, 2013

Los 500 años de Florida y el New York Times

Published in ABC España on April 6, 2013.

Simon Bolivar

Published in 15-Minute History on February 3, 2013.

Whose Apocalypse?

Published in The Appendix on Januay 23, 2013.

A Nineteenth Century Digital Humanities?

Published in The Appendix on December 10, 2012.

Re-Reading John Winthrop's "City Upon the Hill"

Published in Not Even Past on September 12, 2011.

Puritan Conquistadors

Published in Not Even Past on May 1, 2011.

(back to top)



Bible and Empire: The Old Testament in the Spanish Monarchy, from Columbus to the Wars of Independence (work in progress)

America na Primeira Modernidade (1492-1750)

Coeditor with Luis Estevam de Oliveira Fernandes, (Rio de Janeiro: Global Editora, forthcoming)

Princeton Companion to Atlantic History

Coeditor with Joe Miller (general editor), Vincent Brown, Karen Kupperman, and Laurent Dubois. (Princeton, 2014)

The Black Urban Atlantic, in the Era of the Slave Trade

Coeditor with James Sidbury and Matt Childs. (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013)

Catolicos y Puritanos en la Colonizacion de America

(Marcial Pons, 2008)

The Atlantic in Global History, 1500-2000

Coeditor with Erik R Seema. (Prentice Hall, 2006) 

Puritan Conquistadors. Iberianizing the Atlantic, 1550-1700

(Stanford University Press, 2006)

Nature, Empire, and Nation. Explorations of the History of Science in the Iberian World

(Stanford University Press, 2006)

How to Write the History of the New World. Histories, Epistemologies, and Identities in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World

Spanish version

(Stanford University Press, 2001)


Silencing the Past: On Imperious Historical Categories

Silencing the Past: On Imperious Historical Categories
On Feb 14, 2013, Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra gave the 2013 George and Dorothy Carson Memorial Lecture at OSU. His talk attempts to look past the blinders that historiographical categories such as The Enlightenment, the Scientific Revolution, Puritanism, the Reformation, and the Renaissance have imposed on scholarship.

Los frontispicios de Guamán Poma

Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra: Los frontispicios de Guamán Poma. "La cultura del libro" / BNP
Especialistas peruanos y extranjeros de alto nivel en el campo de las artes visuales e historia del arte precolombino y colonial así como en la historia del libro y la lectura, se reunieron en Lima los días 22 y 23 de agosto de 2013 en el Seminario Internacional "La cultura del libro: aproximaciones desde la historia y el arte", organizado por la Biblioteca Nacional del Perú.

Puritan Conquistadors

Jorge Canizares-Esguerra on Puritan Conquistadors
Prof Canizares-Esguerra discusses his book, Puritan Conquistadors.

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