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Peter B. Villella

Dr. Peter B. Villella

Contact Information

Email: villella@uncg.edu
Office: MHRA 2121
Office Phone: 336-334-3986


Ph.D., University of California-Los Angeles, 2009
M.A., University of California-Los Angeles, 2005
B.A., University of Virginia, 2001

Teaching Experience

Associate Professor, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2016-
Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2010-2016
Lecturer, University of California-Los Angeles, 2009

Research Interests

  • Colonial Spanish and Portuguese America
  • Indigenous cultures of the Americas
  • Creolism and national identity in the Americas
  • Intellectual and legal history of colonial Mexico

Current Project

During the 2018-19 academic year I am working as a fellow with the National Humanities Center in North Carolina. My project is to examine sixteenth-century texts on pre-Columbian central Mexican history by Nahua, Otomí, mestizo, and Spanish authors and, by revealing the personal and intellectual links between them, to map a genealogy of what we today know as "Aztec history." This research builds from my first book project, Indigenous Elites and Creole Identity (2016), which traced the relationship between the legal and political activities of Nahua and Otomí leaders under Spanish colonial rule (1521-1821) and the concurrent development of patriotic ideas among those Spaniards born in Mexico who had developed an emotional attachment to their adopted American homeland. Ultimately, my goal is to reveal the collaborative nature of the development of historical knowledge, as well as the contributions therein of indigenous men and women to the construction of local and regional identities in the modern western hemisphere. Read more at https://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/fellows-projects-2018-2019/peter-b-villella/

Courses Taught

  • HIS 239: The First America: Latin America, 1492-1826
  • HIS 240: (Dis)order and Progress: Latin America since 1810
  • HIS 318: Revolution and Reform in Modern Latin America
  • HIS 319: Sugar, Soccer, Samba: History of Brazil
  • HIS 320: History of Mexico and Central America
  • HIS 321: Latin America and the United States
  • HIS 361: History of Economic Thought
  • HIS 508 seminars:
    • The Great Debates of Colonial Latin America
    • Utopianism in Latin America, 1492-1849
    • "Indians" and the Nation in Latin America

Selected Publications

Book cover: Indigenous Elites and Creole Identity in Colonial Mexico, 1500-1800

Selected Awards, Honors, and Fellowships

  • William J. Bouwsma Fellow, National Humanities Center, 2018-19
  • National Endowment for the Humanities, Scholarly Editions and Translations, 2014-17
  • Fellow, American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), 2012-13
  • Research Fellow, Huntington Library, San Marino, CA, 2011
  • José Amor y Vázquez Fellow, John Carter Brown University, Providence, RI, 2008
  • Other awards listed on Vitae.

Curriculum Vitae

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