The Center for Latin American and Caribbean studies and the NYU Department of History hosts a book presentation titled, Tides of Revolution: Information, Insurgencies, and the Crisis of Colonial Rule in Venezuela, by Cristina Soriano (Villanova University), as a part of the New Work in Latin American History Lecture Series.
This event is free and open to the public.
About the book:
This is a book about the links between politics and literacy, and about how radical ideas spread in a world without printing presses. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Spanish colonial governments tried to keep revolution out of their provinces. But, as Cristina Soriano shows, hand-copied samizdat materials from the Caribbean flooded the cities and ports of Venezuela, hundreds of foreigners shared news of the French and Haitian revolutions with locals, and Venezuelans of diverse social backgrounds met to read hard-to-come-by texts and to discuss the ideas they expounded. These networks efficiently spread antimonarchical propaganda and abolitionist and egalitarian ideas, allowing Venezuelans to participate in an incipient yet vibrant public sphere and to contemplate new political scenarios. This book offers an in-depth analysis of one of the crucial processes that allowed Venezuela to become one of the first regions in Spanish America to declare independence from Iberia and turn into an influential force for South American independence.
About the Author:
Cristina Soriano is an Associate Professor of Latin American history at Villanova University. She received her PhD in History from New York University in 2011.
Soriano’s research has focused on the analysis of dynamics of circulation of information, social networks, and political mobilization in Venezuela and the Spanish Caribbean during the Age of the Revolutions. Her research has been supported by the Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the John Carter Brown Library, The Albert R Lepage Endowed Professorship in History, the Wissenchaftkolleg of Berlin, the National Center of Humanities, and the Latin American and Iberian Institute of University of New Mexico. Her first book Tides of Revolution: Information, Insurgencies, and the Crisis of Colonial Rule Venezuela,won the 2019 Bolton-Johnson Award given by the Conference of Latin American History to the Best english-language book in Latin American History. She has recently published the articles “Remembering the Slave Rebellion of Coro: Historical Memory and Politics in Venezuela” Ethnohistory, 62:3, 2016, 327-350, and “‘A True Vassal of the King:’ Pardo Literacy and Political Identity in Venezuela during the Age of Revolutions” Journal of Atlantic Studies, Global Currents, 14:3, 2017, 275-295.