History Department
History Department

Alexander Chaparro-Silva

M.A. and B.A. (summa cum laude) in History, Universidad Nacional de Colombia


Latin American political, intellectual, conceptual, and public history; US-Latin America relations; print culture and modern forms of sociability; race and gender relations in political history.


Drawing upon intellectual and cultural history, I research how historical subjects in the Americas imagined themselves and conceptualized the changing political order during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

My current research analyzes how Latin American intellectuals came to the US, offered a sophisticated comparative reflection on democracy and race relations in both Americas, and crafted racialized continental differences during the nineteenth century. By analyzing the creation of a vibrant continental public sphere to rethink global democracy during the nineteenth century, my research enriches our analytic palette to think about these historical problems today. This research has been supported in part by The Conference on Latin American History and The Tinker Foundation. 

As a historian trained in Latin America and the US, one of my goals is to contribute to the dialogue between these two different historiographical traditions, which often ignore each other. As such, my peer-reviewed articles have appeared throughout the hemisphere in DieciochoAnuario Colombiano de Historia Social y de la Cultura, ReVista: Harvard Review of Latin America, and Fronteras de la Historia. I have also coedited a book about print culture in the Gran Colombian area during the Age of Revolutions: Disfraz y Pluma de Todos: Opinión Pública y Cultura Política, Siglos XVIII y XIX (Bogota: Universidad Nacional de Colombia and University of Helsinki, 2012). 

To support history as a more public discourse, I have contributed to digital history initiatives at Luis Angel Arango Library and the National Library of Colombia in Bogota. For the latter, I researched and curated the exhibition Antonio Nariño o la aventura del pensamiento. This also included the virtual exhibition Antonio Nariño (1765-1823): Lector y patriota, which offers a novel look at Nariño and the enlightened political culture of late eighteenth-century New Kingdom of Granada. 

If you have any questions regarding my work or the graduate program, I would be happy to hear from you. I can also be found on Twitter @AChaparroSilva.