Ronald Briggs completed his B.A. in English and Spanish at the University of the South in 1998. He received his M.A. in Spanish from Middlebury College in 1999 and his Ph.D. in Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Literatures from New York University in 2005. Before joining the Barnard faculty he was Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow at New York University and had held a visiting position at Bard College. Briggs's research centers on the era of independence in Latin America, and he is particularly interested in transatlantic and hemispheric influences on rhetoric. His book, Tropes of Enlightenment in the Age of Bolívar: Simón Rodríguez and the American Essay at Revolution, will be relased in May 2010 by Vanderbil University Press, and he has published articles in Decimonónica and Revista de Humanidades: Tecnológico de Monterrey. Ron's new research examines eighteenth- and nineteenth-century educational rhetoric and the connections between that era's pedagogy and aesthetics in the Americas.