Rich Lizardo


Ph.D. Candidate

Rich Lizardo is a Ph.D. candidate who focuses on the history of early-modern Spain. He received his B.A. in History at Yale University and his M.A. here at the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests include the study of poverty, charity, and poor laws; theories and practices of punishment; Spanish empire and colonialism; national, cultural, religious, and ethnic identities; and intellectual, religious, and cultural history. Rich has presented conference papers on gendered violence in the laws and literature of Spain’s “Golden Age” of the seventeenth century, on labor and economic reform of the Spanish Enlightenment of the eighteenth century, and on intellectual responses to the “Hispano-American problem” of the nineteenth century.

He has also edited, copyedited, and/or translated (from Spanish or Portuguese into English) academic articles, chapters, and monographs for various scholars. He has served as an historical consultant for a Marvel animated television series. And he has coedited a volume on early-modern hospitals, titled Hospitales durante el Antiguo Régimen. Instituciones benéfico-asistenciales, siglos XV–XIX, with Palermo University Press. In addition to his native fluency in English and Spanish, he also maintains full proficiency in Italian and Portuguese and reading proficiency in French.

Rich’s dissertation is titled “Worlds of Spanish Poverty: Theory and Practice from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment.” It traces the developments in the ideas, images, and institutions that arose to address the problem of widespread poverty in early-modern Spain. It argues first that looking through the lens of poverty provides us with a clearer vision of the creation and transformation of early-modern Spain, helping us better understand its intellectual traditions of humanist, Scholastic, and Enlightenment thinking; its politico-religious conflicts of authority during the Counter-Reformation; its cultural production of picaresque and Baroque art during its Golden Age; and its socioeconomic institutions of confraternities, hospitals, and “economic societies” throughout those periods. It secondly argues that focusing on the Spanish world provides us with a sharper image of poverty in early-modern Europe, for on this issue Spain stands out in its unique combination of intellectual output, artistic creation, and institutional development.


Dissertation Committee:

Antonio Feros (advisor)

Roger Chartier

Sophia Rosenfeld

Carlos Eire (Yale)


M.A., History, University of Pennsylvania, 2018
B.A., History (Honors), Yale University, 2015

Research Interests

Early-modern Spain; Spanish empire; intellectual history; religious history; cultural history; poverty, charity, and poor laws; theories and practices of punishment; national, cultural, religious, and ethnic identities

Courses Taught

HIST 070: Colonial Latin America (T.A., Fall 2018)
HIST 118: The Rise and Fall of the Spanish Empire (T.A., Spring 2018)