I was born in Queens, New York, and grew up in the state of Connecticut. I spent six years in Providence, Rhode Island, where I received my B.A. in History from Providence College and my M.A. in History from Brown University. I am currently finishing my doctorate in History at the University of California, San Diego under the direction of Professor Dana Velasco Murillo. Briefly, my dissertation research examines the formative decades of Spain’s empire building (ca. 1480-1530), and centers on the lives of conquistadors who fought in multiple theaters of early Spanish expansionism (in Granada, the Canary Islands, Italy, North Africa, the Caribbean, and New Spain). I am particularly fascinated with the Spanish-Aztec War (popularly known as the Conquest of Mexico), and recently published an article on the Indigenous-Spanish naval fleet used to conquer the aquatic city of Tenochtitlan in 1521. The article, "Masters of the Land: Native Ship and Canal Building During the Spanish-Aztec War," is forthcoming, and will appear in The Americas: A Quarterly Review of Latin American History in January of 2024.
Research and Teaching Interests: Colonial Latin America; Late Medieval Spain; Conquest and Empire; Conquistadors; Native Peoples; Social History; Transregional/Global History
Ph.D. in History, University of California, San Diego, CA (2016-present)
M.A. in History, Brown University, Providence, RI (2015)
B.A. in History, Providence College, Providence, RI (summa cum laude; 2014)
Study Abroad. Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain (2013)
I am deeply interested in conquest, conquistadors, Native peoples, and the rise of the early Spanish empire. My dissertation project, Global Conquistadors: A Social History of the Early Spanish Empire, 1480-1521, explores the lives of Iberian conquerors who fought in multiple regions of the early empire, including in Granada, the Canary Islands, Italy, North Africa, the Caribbean, and New Spain. Drawing on archival documents housed in Spain and Mexico, such as letters, interrogatories, and royal contracts, my research tracks the movement and activities of this cohort of men across the empire, illustrating how the skills and expertise that they acquired in one area allowed them to excel in others.
In addition to my dissertation research, I recently finished an article that considers the importance of the Spaniards’ Native allies during the Spanish-Aztec War, namely in the construction of a naval fleet and canal needed to conquer the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan. The article illustrates how the success of the amphibious enterprise, long credited to the ingenuity of the Spanish, instead owed to the labor services, hydrological expertise, and ecological knowledge of the Native peoples living in the Basin of Mexico.
Currently, I am working on another piece that examines the earliest known Spanish-Indigenous expeditions to the Mexican volcano of Popocatépetl (1519-1522), and more specifically the need to extract sulfur in the caldera for the manufacturing of gunpowder. To date, my research has received the support of several institutions and grants, including a year-long Fulbright-Hays (DDRA) Fellowship, the Tinker Foundation, and various institutes and departments at UCSD.
forthcoming “Masters of the Land: Native Ship and Canal Building During the Spanish-Aztec War” (*Accepted for publication in The Americas: A Quarterly Review of Latin American History; expected January 2024).
2019 “Digital Resources: Christianity in New Spain (Mexico),” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History, ed. William H. Beezley (New York: Oxford University Press, July 2019) doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780199366439.013.876. *Peer Reviewed
2017 “Panama Canal,” in Reforming America: A Thematic Encyclopedia and Document Collection of the Progressive Era, ed. Jeffrey A. Johnson, 2 vols. (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio, 2017), vol. I, pp. 93-96.
2017 “Spanish-American War”, in Reforming America: A Thematic Encyclopedia and Document Collection of the Progressive Era, ed. Jeffrey A. Johnson, 2 vols. (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio, 2017): vol. I, pp. 136-39.
Graduate Teaching Assistant, UCSD (2017-present)
2023, History of Latin America
HILA 100, “Conquest and Empire: The Americas”
HILD 14, “Film and History in Latin America”
2019-2021, Making of the Modern World (MMW) Program
MMW 200: “Pedagogy Theory/Practice”
MMW 11: “Human Origins and Ancient Foundations”
MMW 12: “Classical and Medieval Traditions”
MMW 13: “New Ideas and Cultural Encounters”
MMW 14: “Revolution, Empire, and Industry”
2017-2019, Race and Ethnicity in United States History
HILD 7A: “African American History”
HILD 7B: “Asian American History”
HILD 7C: “Mexican American History”
2022 Institute of Arts and Humanities (IAH) Summer Fellowship
2020 Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA)
2019, 2020 Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies (CILAS) Tinker Grant
2019 Mellon Summer Institute in Spanish Paleography, Huntington Library
2016 SHORE Nomination, University of California, San Diego
2015 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Institute,
AGI Archivo de las Indias (Seville, Spain)
AGMS Archivo General de la Fundación Casa Medina
Sidonia (Cádiz, Spain)
AGN Archivo General de la Nación (Mexico City, Mexico)
AGS Archivo General de Simancas (Valladolid, Spain)
AHN Archivo Histórico de la Nobleza (Toledo, Spain)
ARC Archivo de la Real Chancellería (Valladolid, Spain)
BN Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
JCB John Carter Brown Library (Providence, Rhode Island)
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