Current Institutional Affiliation
Conversational UX Design Lead, Deloitte Consulting

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2016
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Spanish & Portuguese, University of California / Berkeley
Economy, Empire and Alienation in Peruvian Satire, 1598-1797

The present dissertation explores the relationship between colonial Spanish American satire and economic philosophy in XVI-XVIII century Peru and Ecuador. Through the interdisciplinary union of literary close reading, economic history, and art history, I argue that prominent colonial satirical texts and their companion images can be read as a school of early modern economic critique. Through close reading of original sources, I suggest that the writings of authors such as Mateo Rosas de Oquendo (XVI c. Peru), Juan del Valle y Caviedes (XVII c. Peru), Eugenio Espejo (XVIII c. Ecuador), and Esteban Terralla y Landa (XVIII c. Peru) evidence a form of alienation that responds specifically to the intensification of commerce and its social effects under Spanish colonial expansion and reformation. This alienation permeates their poetics, enabling a doubling of satirical verse in which human bodies and goods become indistinguishable, inseparable from the economic activities pervasive in the colonies. While my conceptualization of satirist-as-economist is not specific to the Andean world, the exponential economic growth of colonial Spanish South America around Spanish-founded cities (as opposed to indigenous cities) and colonial mining centers demonstrates how economic sensibilities not only motivate satire, but also structure its very lexical and syntactic workings. This study challenges two dominant interpretations of these canonical works. I argue against the notion that satirists were reactionary malcontents discontent with their personal fortune. I also suggest that deployment of the satirical mode does not deem these authors mere colonial imitators of classical literary traditions. Using archival sources to analyze satirical authors' broad intellectual training as polymaths and diverse vocational experiences in industry and trade, I suggest that use of the satirical genre enables thematic and formal engagements with the common experiences of labor and value production.