Department of History

Leonardo Moreno Alvarez

  • Graduate Student

I study the economic and social impact of naval logistics in the early modern Iberian Atlantic. I am particularly interested in reconstructing the lives of sailors, craftsmen, and bureaucrats whose labor kept the Spanish and Portuguese Atlantic ships afloat. My master’s thesis at Pitt, entitled Cartagena, 1641: Maritime economy and the logistics of global change, analyzed how naval warfare activities and the separation of the Portuguese and Castilian crowns affected one of the most important port cities of the early Spanish Caribbean.

Before coming to Pittsburgh, I received a B.A. in History and an M.A. in Literary Studies from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Beginning as an undergrad, financial support from the ICANH (Colombian Institute for Anthropology and History allowed me to do research in colonial archives in Colombia and Spain. These experiences gave me a strong background in the social, economic, and cultural history of Colonial Latin America.

My other academic interests include sociological approaches to institutions and organizations, social network analysis and visualization, and the history and politics of historical writing.

Advisor: Marcus Rediker



Atlantic History (Transnational)
Latin America (Regional)
Early modern maritime economies (Topical)


Teaching Experience

University of Pittsburgh
Teaching Fellow, Modern Latin America. Fall 2017
Teaching Assistant, East Asian Civilization to 1800, Spring 2017
Teaching Assistant, Western Civilization 2, Fall 2016

Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas, Bogotá (Colombia)
Adjunct Faculty, Social Science Teachers Qualification Program. 2013-2014

Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá (Colombia)
Adjunct Faculty, Department of Literature. 2011, 2013
Graduate Teaching Assistant, Department of Literature. 2010


Grants and research activities

European Studies Summer Pre-Dissertation Research Grant, University of Pittsburgh, 2017.
“Trade, labor, and logistics in the seventeenth–century Spanish Caribbean.”

European Studies Summer Pre-Dissertation Research Grant, University of Pittsburgh, 2016. 
“Sailors and Merchants across the Spanish Caribbean, 1640-1650.”

Research Program in Colonial History Grant, Colombian Institute for Anthropology and History (ICANH), 2015. 
“Colonial officials and imperial conflicts in the Caribbean Coast of the New Kingdom of Granada, 17th century”.

Research Program in Colonial History Grant, Colombian Institute for Anthropology and History (ICANH), 2014. 
“Old Providence Island and the Anglo Spanish Conflict for the Western Caribbean, 1630-1670.”

Research Assistant, Department of Literature, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, 2008-2010.
“Books, Readings and Readers in the Colonial Period” (Joint project of the “History and Literature” and “Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature” research groups)

Research Program in Colonial History Grant, Colombian Institute for Anthropology and History (ICANH), 2006. 
“Piracy in the Northern Coast of the New Kingdom of Granada, 1555-1713. The production of a Primary Source Catalog.”


Representative Publications


Refereed Journal Articles

“Los caminos de la maldad universal en Gran Sertón: Veredas de João Guimarães Rosa.”

[“Pathways of Universal Evil in João Guimarães Rosa’s Grande Sertão: Veredas”]
Con-textos: revista de semiótica literaria (ISSN 0122-9184) 12:43 (2009).

“La piratería americana y su incidencia en el Nuevo Reino de Granada, siglos XVI-XVIII: un ensayo bibliográfico”. [“Piracy in America and its Incidence in the New Kingdom of Granada, 16th-17th Centuries: a Bibliographic Review”]. Fronteras de la historia (ISSN 123-4676) 12 (2008).

Book Reviews

Review of Pirate Novels: Fictions of Nation Building in Spanish America de Nina Gerassi-Navarro. Fronteras de la historia (ISSN 123-4676) 14-1 (2009).

 Other Publications

“Gógol y la historia”; “El camino y el espacio en Almas muertas” [“Gogol and History”; “The Road and Space in Dead Souls.”] Revista de Literatura Rusa Yasnaia Poliana (ISSN 2027-7024) 1 (2010).


Conference Papers

“Smugglers, bishops, scholars, and the evolution of a pirate story from the 17th century New Kingdom of Granada.”
Latin American Studies Association Annual Meeting. New York, NY, May 2016.  

“Economic linkages and naval logistics in 17th century Cartagena” 
Free and Unfree Labor in Indian and Atlantic Ocean Port Cities, c. 1700-1850. University of Pittsburgh, May 2016.

“The Anglo-Spanish Conflict for Old Providence Island and the Territorialization of the Caribbean in the 17th Century.” 5th Ibero-American Symposium on the History of Cartography. Bogotá (Colombia), September 2014.

“Elaboration of a Catalog of Sources for the Study of Piracy.”
Symposium on Maritime and Riverine Cultures, 12th National Congress of Anthropology. Bogotá (Colombia), August 2007.

“The Political Economy of Piracy.”
15th Conference of the Association of Colombianists. Bogotá (Colombia), August 2007.

“Piracy and its Place in the Configuration of Caribbean Space.”
Third International Symposium of the Colonial Americas Studies Organization. Quito (Ecuador), June 2007.


Invited talks

“Early Colonization and Conflict in San Andrés and Providencia, 17th-18th centuries.” 
Panel: The Hague Ruling of 2012 and the Maritime and Territorial Dispute in the Caribbean,” Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Bogotá (Colombia), September 2013.