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PhD Candidate in Comparative Literature
2021-22 Mabelle McLeod Lewis Fellow
Leonardo is a doctoral candidate in Comparative Literature at Stanford University where he works comparatively with early modern works in Spanish, Portuguese, Latin, Quechua, and Italian. He specializes in literatures and cultures from the early modern Ibero-Atlantic world, with a particular interest in the relation between literary, historical, and geographic discourses, the writing of global and local histories, the interaction between cartographic objects and literature, and comparative approaches to early modernity from the fields of Transatlantic, Postcolonial, and Decolonial studies. In his dissertation, titled “Inventing the Hinterlands: Africa in the Sixteenth-Century Transatlantic Imaginary,” he examines how historians, cartographers and writers from the Ibero-Atlantic world constructed knowledge of African cultures and peoples via an ambivalent rhetorical framework, ultimately to both acknowledge the importance of African cultures and peoples for the Hapsburg empire while also limiting their influence by assigning them a flat, continental idea--a single idea of "Africanness." These writings, Leonardo argues, served to persuade European audiences and colonial officials that Africa could be understood as a single unit, a trope whose ongoing pervasiveness in our own time is well-captured in the widespread meme "Africa is not a country." Leonardo is a recipient of the Stanford Humanities Center Dissertation Prize, where he was a fellow in 2020-21, and is currently (2021-22) a Mabelle McLeod Lewis fellow.
He holds a B.A. and an M.A. in History from the Federal University of Espirito Santo, Vitoria, Brazil, where he studied from 2007 to 2013.
2013: M.A. with Distinction, History, Federal University of Espirito Santo, Brazil
2010: B.A. History, Federal University of Espirito Santo, Brazil