Ricardo Padrón

Associate Professor of Spanish
New Cabell Hall 423
Office Hours:
Tuesday & Wednesday 9:00am-11:00am at https://virginia.zoom.us/my/ricardo.padron.zoom

Research Summary

Ricardo Padrón is an Associate Professor of Spanish who studies the literature and culture of the early modern Hispanic world, particularly questions of empire, space, and cartography. His recently publihsed monograph, The Indies of the Setting Sun: How Early Modern Spain Mapped the Far East as the Transpacific West (Chicago 2020) examines the role of Spanish writing about the Pacific and Asia in its ongoing conceptualization of the Indies as a geopolitical category.  His research for this book has taken him to China, Japan, and the Philippines, and has been sponsored by U.Va.’s Center for Global Inquiry and Innovation, Arts & Sciences at U.Va., and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has also published on early modern poetry and historiography, and on the mapping of imaginary worlds in modern times.  Prof. Padrón is an active member of the Renaissance Society of America, and is currently serving as a member of its Board of Directors. He is currently serving as Director of Graduate Studies in Spanish and as chair of the Arts and Sciences Committee on Budget and Development.


Ph.D., Harvard

M.A., Harvard

A.M., Chicago

B.A., University of Virginia



The Indies of the Setting Sun: How Early Modern Spain Mapped the Far East as the Transpacific West (University of Chicago Press, 2020).

The Spanish Pacific, 1521-1815: A Reader of Primary Sources in English Translation, co-edited with Christinia Lee (Amsterdam University Press, 2020)

The Spacious Word: Cartography, Literature, and Empire in Early Modern Spain (University of Chicago Press, 2004) 

Recent Articles

“Confusions of Identity: The Spanish Encounter with Japanese Religion and the Glass Ceiling of Eurocentrism,” Revista de estudios hispánicos. (Forthcoming). 28 pages; 8131 words.

“América, las Indias, y el Pacífico en el siglo XVI.” Miradas conectadas y renovadas. A propósito del X Congreso Internacional de Etnohistoria. Quito: Editorial FLACSO. (Forthcoming) 32 pages; 11,360 words.

“America y el espacio transmagellanico, siglo XVI,” Magallania (Forthcoming). 26 pages; 11,615 words.

“The Philippines and the Body Politic: The Transpacific Cartography of Vicente de Memije” in Transpacific Engagements: Exchange, Translation, and Visual Culture in the Age of Empires, 1565–1898, Edited by Florina H. Capistrano-Baker, et. al.  Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, Forthcoming. 15 pages; 4554 words.

“Mundus Novus - China - Terra Australis: Successive New World Fantasies” Shores of Vespucci A historical Research of Amerigo Vespucci's Life and Contexts in Collaboration with Francisco Contente Domingues, edited by Angelo Cattaneo. Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2018.  18 pages; 5837 words.

“Hybrid Maps: Cartography and Literature in Spanish Imperial Expansion, Sixteenth Century.”  Literature and Cartography: Theories, Histories, Genres, edited by Anders Engberg-Peterson. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2017.  27 pages; 7674 words.

“Mapping Without Maps: Memory and Cartography in Las Casas’s Very Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies.”  The Routledge Handbook of Literature and Space, edited by Robert Tally.  New York and London: Routledge, 2017. 19 pages; 5630 words.

“(Un)Inventing America: The Transpacific Indies in Oviedo and Gómara.”  Colonial Latin American Review 25/1 (2016): 16-34. 38 pages; 10,896 words.