Juan Pablo Ardila

Ph.D. Candidate

Email: juanard@sas.upenn.edu

My dissertation explores the experience of fear in the former Viceroyalty of New Granada between 1808, when the monarchical crisis erupted in the Iberian Peninsula, and 1830, when the first Republic of Colombia broke up into three independent nations (Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela). I examine the different ways people at the time experienced fear, the propagation of fear through written and non-written means, and the political impact of fear. I hope to gain a deeper understanding of peoples’ motivations as well as of the causality of fear in driving some actors to support restrictive practices of citizenship and republicanism.

As an undergraduate and MA student, I developed an interest for US-Latin American relations. I was particularly interested in examining the ways in which these relations shaped Colombia’s economic and social policy during the first half of the twentieth century. As a PhD student at Penn, I have gone back in time and ended up focusing on the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. During my first years, I focused on the implementation of vagrancy laws during the Bourbon Reforms. One of my research papers examined the problems New Granada’s viceregal and local authorities faced when trying to apply these laws. A second paper examined the life of a Carlos María Canales, a somewhat idiosyncratic man whose life illustrates the tensions between conflicting notions of honor, nobility, work, and vagrancy in Bourbon Spain. Later on, in another paper, I examined the role of orality and written culture in the diffusion of information during the 1781 Comunero Revolt in New Granada. The paper focused on a series of pasquines (lampoons) and bandos (posters) that were posted in city walls in 1781. 

Committee Members: 

 Ann Farnsworth-Alvear (Advisor), Roger Chartier, Antonio Feros.


M.A., History, University of Pennsylvania (2018)
M.A., History, Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia) (2015)
B.A., History, Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia) (2010)
B.A., Economics, Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia) (2010)

Research Interests

Latin American History, Iberian Atlantic History, Cultural History, History of Emotions, History of Material Texts.

Courses Taught

Teaching Assistant: American Capitalism (HIST161), Modern Latin America (HIST071), Colonial Latin America (HIST070), The Rise and Fall of the Spanish Empire (HIST179).

Selected Publications

Ardila Falla, Juan Pablo, “Reflexiones sobre el imperialismo norteamericano: la política agraria colombiana en la década de 1930 y la influencia estadounidense" at Historia Crítica, Uniandes, Bogotá, v. 51, 2013, p. 171- 195. (http://revistas.uniandes.edu.co/doi/pdf/10.7440/histcrit51.2013.08)