Jeffrey A Erbig
  • Pronouns he, him, his, his, himself
  • Title
    • Associate Professor
  • Division Social Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Latin American & Latino Studies
  • Affiliations History Department, Dolores Huerta Research Center for the Americas
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Merrill College Academic Building, 109
  • Office Hours Spring 2024: Tuesdays, 12-2 p.m.
  • Mail Stop Merrill College
  • Advisees, Grad Students, Researchers Mario Alberto Gomez-Zamora, Bree Booth, marina dadico am├óncio de souza

Biography, Education and Training

My research and teaching address the construction of borders over time and the movement of people across them. I also analyze the ways that historical documents are produced and curated, and how those processes structure historical memory and geographical imaginations. I tend to focus broadly on the Americas, but I have particular interest in southeastern South America (Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Southern Brazil).


My first book, Where Caciques and Mapmakers Met, explores how autonomous Indigenous communities known as Charrúas and Minuanes responded to Ibero-American efforts to create a border between Brazil and Spanish South America. My current research considers the colonial practices of banishment and penal colonization as forerunners to modern penitentiaries and deportation regimes.


Prior to joining the LALS faculty, I was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the History Department at the University of New Mexico. I received my PhD in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Honors, Awards and Grants

Sturgis Leavitt Award for Best Article (Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies), 2024


Research Grant (MRPI Routes of Enslavement in the Americas), 2024


Large Grant Program (UCSC Committee on Research), 2023-2025


Building Belonging Award (UCSC Institute for Social Transformation), 2024


Alfred B. Thomas Book Award (honorable mention) (Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies), 2021


ACLS Fellowship (American Council of Learned Societies), 2020-2021


Sprout Grant (UCSC Institute for Social Transformation), 2020-2021


Faculty Research Grant (Committee on Research), 2020-2021


Hellman Fellowship (Declined), 2020-2021


New Faculty Research Grant (Committee on Research), 2019


Jeannette D. Black Memorial Fellowship (The John Carter Brown Library), 2016

Selected Publications


Entre caciques y cartógrafos: La construcción de un límite interimperial en la Sudamérica del siglo XVIII. Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires: Prometeo Libros, 2022.


Where Caciques and Mapmakers Met: Border Making in Eighteenth-Century South America. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2020.


Articles & Book Chapters

“Property Mapping in Spanish America,” in The History of Cartography: Cartography in the Nineteenth Century, Roger Kain, ed., v. 5. Chicago, University of Chicago Press (forthcoming, 2025)


“Entre assentamentos e toldarias: a demarcação de limites no Rio da Prata” em Produzindo Fronteiras: entrecruzando escalas, povos e impérios na América portuguesa (1640-1828), editado por Iris Kantor, Belo Horizonte: Editora Autêntica (forthcoming): 99-128.


“Afterlives in Captivity: Indigeneity and Penal Deportation in Southeastern South America,” Atlantic Studies, 2023, DOI: 10.1080/14788810.2023.2205977


“Despoliticización a través de la naturalización: Félix de Azara y pueblos indígenas en el Río de la Plata y Paraguay,” Boletín Americanista, no. 84 (2022): 105-126


“Between Ethnonyms and Toponyms: Cartography and Native Pasts in the Eastern Río de la Plata,” in Prado, Fabrício, Viviana Grieco, and Alex Borucki, eds., The Río de la Plata from Colony to Nations, New York: Palgrave Macmillian (2021): 9-30.


“Still Turning toward a Cartographic History of Latin America,” with Brian Bockelman, History Compass, 18, e12617 (2020): 1-15. https://doi.org/10.1111/hic3.12617


“Across Archival Limits: Imperial Records, Changing Ethnonyms, and Geographies of Knowledge,” with Sergio Latini, Ethnohistory 66, no. 2 (2019): 249-273


“Borderline Offerings: Tolderías and Mapmakers in the Eighteenth-Century Río de la Plata” Hispanic American Historical Review 96, no. 3 (2016): 445-480

Teaching Interests

Dr. Erbig's teaching focuses on Latin America broadly, with a special focus on Southern South America and Brazil. His topical courses address colonialism, nationalism, spatial thought, migration, and the historical agency of Indigenous Americans and African Americans. He also teaches a methods course on digital mapping in the social sciences and humanities.