Larissa Brewer-García

Associate Professor of Latin American Literature
Classics 119 (On leave 2023-24)
PhD, University of Pennsylvania, 2013

Larissa Brewer-García specializes in colonial Latin American studies, with a focus on cultural productions of the Caribbean, the Andes, and the African diaspora. Within these areas, her interests include gender studies, literature and law, genealogies of race and racism, humanism and Catholicism, and translation studies. She is also a co-founder, with Agnes Lugo-Ortiz and Cécile Fromont, of the Working Group on Slavery and Visual Culture (now a joint project with the University of Chicago and Yale University). Her first book, Beyond Babel: Translations of Blackness in Colonial Peru and New Granada (Cambridge University Press, 2020), examines the influence of black interpreters and spiritual intermediaries in the creation and circulation of notions of blackness in writings from sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spanish America. The book was awarded the Flora Tristán Book Prize for Peruvian Studies by the Latin American Studies Association and the Friedrich Katz Prize for Latin American and Caribbean history by the American Historical Association. The Spanish translation of Beyond Babel by George Palacios, titled Más allá de Babel: La traducción de lo negro en Perú y la Nueva Granada en el siglo XVII, was published by Planeta/ Uniandes in 2022. Her next book project, "Unruly Examples: Race, Hierarchy, and Belonging in Colonial Andean Religious Portraiture" examines depictions of Black and Indigenous men and women in biography, verse, and visual culture in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.



  • Más allá de Babel: La traducción de lo negro en Perú y la Nueva Granada en el siglo XVIItraducido por George Palacios. Bogotá, Colombia: Uniandes/ Planeta, 2022.
  • "Gender and the Work of Missionary Translation: Black Women Interpreters among the Jesuits in Seventeenth-Century Cartagena de Indias." Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies 21, no. 4 (Fall 2021), 63-100.
  • “The Composite Pardo of Seventeenth-Century Lima: Blackness, Whiteness, and Creole Self-Fashioning in the Earliest Portraits of Martín de Porres. Colonial Latin American Review 30, no. 2 (2021): 272-304.
  • “The Agency of Translation in Colonial Latin America: Rethinking the Roles of Non-European Linguistic Intermediaries.” In Companion for Colonial Latin American and Caribbean Studies (1492-1898). Eds. Yolanda Martínez-San Miguel and Santa Arias. New York: Routledge, 2020. 379-92.
  • Beyond Babel: Translations of Blackness in Colonial Peru and New Granada. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020.
  • “Hierarchy and Holiness in the Earliest Colonial Black Hagiographies: Alonso de Sandoval and his Sources.” William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd series, 76, no. 3 (July 2019): 477-508.
  • “Imagined Transformations: Color, Beauty, and Black Christian Conversion in Seventeenth-Century Spanish America.” In Envisioning Others: Race, Color, and the Visual in Iberia and Latin America. Leiden: Brill, 2016. 111-144.
  • With Barbara Fuchs and Aaron Ilika. “The Abencerraje” and “Ozmin and Daraja”: Two Sixteenth-Century Novellas from Spain. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014.
  • “Bodies, Texts, and Translators: Indigenous Breast Milk and the Jesuit Exclusion of Mestizos in Late Sixteenth-Century Peru.” Colonial Latin American Review 21.3, December 2012.
  • “Negro, pero blanco de alma: La negrura ambivalente en la Vida prodigiosa de Fray Martín de Porras.” Cuadernos del Centro Interdisciplinario de Literatura Hispanoamericana, November 2012.
Recent Courses in RLL
  • SPAN 21903 Introducción a las literaturas hispánicas: textos hispanoamericanos desde la colonia a la independencia (Spring 2017, Autumn 2018, Spring 2021)
  • SPAN 21905 Latin American Literatures and Cultures: Colonial and 19th-Century (Autumn 2022)
  • SPAN 24420 Unsettling Encounters: Colonial Latin America in Film (Spring 2018)
  • SPAN 26210/36210 Witches, Sinners, and Saints (Winter 2017, Autumn 2021, Autumn 2022)
  • SPAN 32810 Traducción y piratería en el mundo colonial (Spring 2017, Autumn 2018)
  • SPAN 38810 Empire, Slavery & Salvation: Writing Difference in the Colonial Americas (Spring 2018, Autumn 2020)
  • RLLT 48000 Academic Job Market Preparation (Spring 2021, Spring 2023)
Affiliated Departments and Centers: Center for Latin American Studies, Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture