Elvira Vilches

Associate Research Professor of Romance Studies

-- Duke University
HWL Affiliation: Bridge Appointment
Years Funded: 2015 to 2017

Elvira Vilches studies how 16th and 17th century thinkers, authors, and observers across the Spanish empire grappled with money, commerce, and economic challenges that resemble our own. Her interest in the interface between literature, history, and economics led to the publication of New World Gold: Cultural Anxiety and Monetary Disorder in Early Modern Spain (The University of Chicago Press, 2010). Her articles explore the intersections between commerce, print culture, and silver; why and how literary authors wrote about money in any way, shape, or form; witnessing financial crisis in the 17th and 21st centuries; and colonial theories of value and exchange. She is currently working on a book manuscript, Doing Business: Commerce and Culture in Early Modern Spain, examining how accounting, borrowing, and investing became activities of everyday life across the cultural field in Spain and the Americas. Her most recent undergraduate and graduate courses look at the cultural history of chocolate and tobacco; early travel writing; women and the production of knowledge; the worlds of Cervantes; and the correlations between commercial culture and literature. 

Elvira's Duke faculty mentor is Nasher Museum of Art Director Sarah Schroth.


Gallery Talk in Art of the Americas: Mesoamerica
-- Nov 4 2015
Romance Studies professor Elvira Vilches will present a Gallery Talk in Art of the Americas: Mesoamerica at the Nasher Museum on Thursday, November 12. The hour-long talk starts at 6pm and will be... Read More