Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara

Brianna N. Leavitt-Alcántara , Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Associate Professor

Professional Summary

Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara teaches Latin American History, specializing in the colonial period and nineteenth century. Her research focuses on gender and religion in colonial and nineteenth-century Central America. Her book, Alone at the Altar: Single Women and Devotion in Guatemala, 1670-1870 (Stanford University Press, 2018), considers how non-elite single women forged complex alliances with the Catholic Church in Guatemala's colonial capital, and how those alliances significantly shaped local religion and the spiritual economy, late colonial reform efforts, and post-Independence politics. Her new book project, The Virgin's Wrath, examines gender relations, Mayan Catholicism, and violence in eighteenth-century Chiapas. She teaches survey courses on colonial Latin America as well as upper division courses on topics such as gender, religion, the Spanish Inquisition, and Afro-Latin America. 


Ph.D.: University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, CA, 2009 (History)

B.A.: University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA, 1999

Research Support

Investigators:Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara 05-01-2013 -06-30-2013 University Research Council, University of Cincinnati URC Faculty Summer Stipend Completed

Investigators:Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara 08-20-2014 -08-20-2015 Taft Research Center Taft Center Fellows Completed Type:Fellowship

Investigators:Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara 06-2012 -08-2012 Taft Research Center Taft Summer Research Fellowship Completed Type:Fellowship

Investigators:Brianna Leavitt-Alcantara 05-01-2018 -05-31-2018 University of Cincinnati Research Council URC Faculty Summer Stipend Completed

Investigators:Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara 06-2023 -08-2023 National Endowment for the Humanities NEH Summer Stipend $6,000.00 Completed Type:Grant


Peer Reviewed Publications

Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara (2014. ) "Intimate Indulgences: Salvation and Local Religion in Eighteenth-Century Santiago de Guatemala" .Colonial Latin American Review, , 23 (2 ) ,252-279

Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara (2014. ) "Holy Women and Hagiography in Colonial Latin America" .History Compass, , 12 (9 ) ,717-728

Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara (2021. ) "Mujeres trabajadoras, conservadurismo e Iglesia Católica en Guatemala del siglo XIX" .Revista Eutopía: Entrega especial Bicentenario, , 2 ,

Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara (2022. ) "Of Madres and Mayordomas: Native Women and Religious Leadership in Colonial Chiapas" .The Americas, , 79 (4 ) ,1-31

Published Books

Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara (2018. ) Alone at the Altar: Single Women and Devotion in Guatemala, 1670-1870 .Stanford, CA , Stanford University Press (Author)

Book Chapter

Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara (2018 ) "Quiet Voices and Laconic Sources: A Synoptic Approach to Wills" Imagining Histories of Colonial Latin America: Essays on Synoptic Methods and Practices .Albuquerque, University of New Mexico Press (Author)

Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara (2021 ) "Piety and Power: Intimate Bonds and Women's Religious Devotion in Guatemala" The Routledge Companion to Sexuality and Colonialism .(pp. 233 -242).New York, Routledge (Author)

Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara (2020 ) "'Con cuchillo en mano': género, devoción y política después de la independencia" Historias e historiografías del siglo XIX en Chiapas y Guatemala .(pp. 557 -584).San Cristóbal de las Casas, CIMSUR-UNAM (Author)

Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara (2021 ) "Far from the Margins: Non-elite Single Women and Spiritual Networking in Colonial Guatemala" Non-elite Women’s Networks Across the Early Modern World .Amsterdam Publishers (Author)

Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara (2022 ) "Para educar y evangelizar: lacias, la Iglesia, y las escuelas de niñas en Guatemala, 1780-1810” Guatemala y Chiapas en una época de transición, 1750-1860: Horizontes historiográficos y nuevos caminos .(pp. 105 -136).Mexico City, UNAM

Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara (2022 ) The Kingdom of Guatemala as a Cultural Crossroads The Oxford Handbook of Central American History .(pp. 191 -217).Oxford, Oxford University Press

Additional Publications


Invited Presentations

Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara (2021. ) “Sexo, honor, y devoción: mujeres solteras y vínculos espirituales en Guatemala colonial” .XV Congreso Centroamericano de Historia, Costa Rica-Virtual. Conference. . Level:International

Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara (2021. ) "Las mujeres durante las independencias" .El Bicentenario: una mirada crítica y emancipadora, Guatemala-Virtual. Conference. . Level:International

Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara (2019. ) “Para educar y evangelizer: mujeres lacias, el clero, y las escuelas de niñas en Guatemala, 1780-1810,” .Coloquio: El régimen de Intendencias y el siglo XIX en Guatemala y Chiapas: Acercamientos Históricos e Historiográficos, , Chiapas, Mexico. Conference. . Level:International

Paper Presentations

Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara (06-2011. ) Bringing Home Our Daily Bread: Women, Work, and Religious Practice in Guatemala City, 1750-1850 .Amherst, MA. Conference. Level:International

Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara (01-2011. ) Domestic Devotions and Sacred Domains: Gendered Ideals and Religious Practice in Guatemala City, 1750-1850 .Boston, MA. Conference. Level:International

Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara (01-2010. ) Pious Accounts: Laywomen, Capellanías, and the Gendered Pursuit of Salvation in Guatemala City, 1750-1860 .San Diego, CA. Conference. Level:International

Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara (06-2006. ) Sor María Teresa Aycinena: devoción, controversia, y reforma en la época de la Independencia .Antigua, Guatemala. Conference. Level:International

Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara (04-2005. ) Until Death Do Us Part: Women Bigamists in Late-Colonial New Spain .Las Vegas, Nevada. Conference. Level:International

Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara (11-2012. ) Navigating the Here and Hereafter: Single Women and Spiritual Networking in Colonial Guatemala City .Chicago. Conference. Level:International

Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara (01-2013. ) Devotional Networks and Spiritual Geographies: Single Women in a Spanish American City .New Orleans. Conference. Level:International

Leavitt-Alcántara, Brianna (03-12-2015. ) Alone at the Altar: Gender, Devotion, and Marriage in a Guatemalan City, 1670-1870 .Taft Research Center. UC. Level:Regional


(Events and Outreach ) Committee Member Type:Departmental Service Level:University 01-2012 -To Present