Juan  Ponce-Vazquez

Juan Ponce-Vazquez

Assistant Professor


  • PhD, University of Pennsylvania, 2011


Research Interests

  • Latin American History
  • Spanish Caribbean History
  • Race and Slavery in Spanish America
  • Atlantic History

Current Projects

My research focuses on Spanish Caribbean societies during the seventeenth century. I am interested in the role that Spanish societies played in the forging of a Caribbean world caught in between the competing imperial agendas of the expanding European powers of the day, namely England, France, and the United Provinces.My current book project, provisionally entitled Smuggling at the Edge of Empire: Social and Political Defiance in Hispaniola, 1580-1697, explores how the residents of Santo Domingo transcended their marginal location and status within the Spanish colonial world and took advantage of the intense imperial competition that engulfed the Caribbean during the seventeenth century, with the arrival of Northern European settlers.

Courses Taught

  • Colonial Latin America (HY 111)
  • City and Empire in the Spanish World (HY 300-023)
  • Imperial Spain (HY-400-003)
  • Race and Slavery in Spanish America (HY-665)

Conference Presentations

  • “Contraband Trade and the Moral Economy of Hispaniola.” SECOLAS 2017, Chapel Hill, NC.
  • Guest presenter, “Contrabando, diplomacia y guerra en la Frontera Imperial de la Española en la segunda mitad del siglo XVII” Departamento de Historia de América, Universidad de Sevilla, Sevilla, Spain, June 2015.
  • Presenter, “Serving the King While Serving Oneself: Royal Officials, Local Smugglers, and Contraband Culture in Santo Domingo, 1630s-1660s.” Association of Caribbean Historians Annual Meeting, Nassau, Bahamas, May 2015.

Selected Publications

  • “Unequal partners in crime: masters, slaves and free people of color in Santo Domingo, c.1600–1650,” Slavery and Abolition [link], 37:4 (2016): 704-723.
  • “Colaboraciones fronterizas, diplomacia y guerra en La Española, 1660-1690,” in Boletín del Archivo General de la Nación [link], Año LXXVII – Volumen LX – Número 142 (2015), 255-283.
  • “Casting Traitors and Villains: The Historiographical Memory of the 1605 Depopulations of Hispaniola,” in Sites of Memory in Spain and Latin America [link], eds. Marina Llorente, Marcella Salvi, and Aida Diaz de León (New York: Lexington Press, 2015).
  • “Atlantic Peripheries: Diplomacy, War and Spanish-French Interactions in Hispaniola, 1660s-1690s,” in The Atlantic World, 1450-1800 [link], eds. D’Maris Coffman, Adrian Leonard, and William O’Reilly (New York: Routledge, 2014).