History Department
History Department

Ernesto Mercado-Montero

M.A. Caribbean Studies, The State University of New York at Buffalo

Ernesto Mercado-Montero



Social and Political History of the Early-Modern Circum-Caribbean Region


Ernesto Mercado-Montero was born in Bogotá City and was raised in the Colombian Caribbean. As a teenager, Ernesto moved to Madrid, Spain, where he attended college before moving to the United States. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate. Ernesto's academic interests focus on the role of African descendants and Native cultures forging the early modern circum-Caribbean. His dissertation research is eminently transimperial. He explores the nature of the polities, commercial networks, kinship relationships, and patronage systems that the native Caribs established with African descendants and imperial powers (England, France, Spain, Holland, and The United States) from the sixteenth through the eighteenth-century Caribbean. 

Ernesto's dissertation research has been supported by different institutions, such as The Social Science Research Council (DPDF and Mellon IDRF programs), The Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, The John Carter Brown Library, The Library Company of Philadelphia, The History Project at Harvard University, as well as The John L. Warfield Center for African & African American Studies and The Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies, among others.

Ernesto earned his BA from the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain, and his M.A. in Caribbean Studies from SUNY Buffalo. He is one of the organizers of the Latin American Author Series at UT Austin in 2019. 


HIS 346K • Colonial Latin America

38705 • Spring 2020
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM WAG 214
GC (also listed as LAS 366)

This course surveys the history of colonial Spanish America from first encounters to independence. An underlying focus will be to explore the dynamics of scholarly analysis, tracing how and why historians and social scientists have revisited and provided alternative (revisionist) interpretations of key themes. These include: the arrival of humans in the Americas, alternations in the pre and post contact indigenous (Maya, Aztec, Inca) and Iberian worlds, processes of conquest and early colonization, ecological and demographic trends, the consolidation of imperial power (governmental, economic, religious and social institutions), changing dynamics of gender, race and class; the Bourbon Reforms; and precipitating variables for independence.
Students must pass a map quiz to receive a grade in the course. There will be a midterm and a final examination. Study sheets will be handed out a week prior to each examination and there will be a review in class of the materials to be covered. Students should be prepared to discuss the assigned readings in class as well as show their comprehension of the material in examinations and essays. Additionally students will write one (4-5) page essay based on the Boyer readings. A sheet will be handed out suggesting possible topics or students may develop their own topic with the approval of the professor.



Bernal Diaz del Castillo, The Conquest of New Spain (Penguin 1963)
Richard Boyer, Colonial Lives: Documents in Latin American History 1550-1850 (Oxford University Press 2000).
Camilla Townsend, Malintzin’s Choices: An Indian Woman in the Conquest of Mexico (University of New Mexico Press 2006)


Grade: 1/3 midterm, 1/3 final, 1/3 paper