Author ORCID Identifier

Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Arts and Sciences


Hispanic Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Enrico Mario Santí


This dissertation studies the emergence of literary history and criticism in the Americas during the eighteenth century. It focuses upon the study of 1.) Natural history as a matrix of literary history and criticism; 2.) The geopolitical functions of literary history and criticism in the periodical press; and 3.) The recovery of manuscripts as a residual product of modernity. Texts associated with a hegemonic Enlightenment, such as “Disertación sobre el derecho público universal” by Francisco Javier de Uriortúa, are analyzed. Next, we study modern historical-critical thought as emphasized in the periodical press of Bogotá and Quito. Finally, the circulation of manuscripts is studied as an indicator of the participation of Spanish American authors in discussions about the Enlightenment. For the latter, the dissertation analyzes the development of theories of good taste in El Nuevo Luciano de Quito by Eugenio Espejo and in the Plan elementál del buen gusto en todo genéro de materias by Manuel del Socorro Rodríguez de la Victoria. The study challenges the epistemological conflict provoked by the handwritten condition of a considerable portion of scholarship from the eighteenth century, in which the projects of an American modernity become subjugated by the power of European print.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)