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Dr Caroline A WilliamsB.A., Ph.D.(Warw.)

Research interests

My principal research interests are in the colonisation of indigenous groups on the frontiers of Spain’s empire in the Americas, and cultural and commercial exchanges across imperial boundaries in the Atlantic World. I am currently working on a study of the Hodgson family, settlers on the ‘Mosquito Shore’, a British outpost in eastern Central America, with a focus on the Robert Hodgsons (father and son) who served as British Superintendents between 1749-58 and 1768-75 respectively. Prior studies on the region were published in Slavery and Abolition (2014) and The Americas (2013).

In addition, I am involved in interdiciplinary research with colleagues in Earth Sciences, using Spanish American documentary sources to study both climate and the impact of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions on colonial societies. I have also collaborated as co-I on a GCRF Building Resilience Project, ‘Unseen but not Unfelt: Resilience to Persistent Volcanic Emissions: Case study from Masaya Volcano, Nicaragua’.

I am PI of the AHRC-funded network, Risk, Hazards, Disasters and Cultures: Exploring an Integrated Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Disaster Studies Approach.

Beyond Bristol, and among other activities, I served as President of the Society for Latin American Studies ( between 2014-2016. I am currently on the steering committee of the Standing Conference of Latin American Studies in the UK.


I teach on the following undergraduate units:

  • HISP20046 Nationalism & National Identity in Argentina 1810-1955
  • HISP30032 Conquest and Colonisation: Spanish America, 1492-1700
  • HISP20062 Race, Religion and Gender: Readings in the History of the Iberian Atlantic World

Though currently not on offer, I have also taught undergraduate units on the missionary frontiers of the Americas (‘"Spiritual Children"?: Daily Life in the Catholic Missions of Colonial Spanish America'), on the late colonial and independence periods ('Resistance, Rebellion, Independence: Spanish America, 1750-1830), and on nineteenth and twentieth-century Cuba ('Cuba Between The Powers'), and at MA level (‘Colonial Encounters: Spanish America c.1492-1700’ and ‘Crossing Boundaries: Identity and Culture in the Early Modern Atlantic World’).

Structured keywords and research groupings

  • Cabot Institute Natural Hazards and Disasters Research

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