Jesús R. Velasco

Jesús R. Velasco
Professor Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures, Institute for Comparative Literature and Society / Center for Contemporary Critical Thought, Law School.
  • Address
    301 Casa Hispánica
    Department of Latin American & Iberian Cultures
    612 W116th Street
    New York NY 10027
  • Office Hours
    T 10-14; W 4-5
  • Phone
    (212) 854-8486
  • Email
  • LinkedIn


Jesús R. Velasco teaches Medieval and Early Modern Studies at Columbia. He has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, Universidad de Salamanca, Université de Paris III (Sorbonne Nouvelle), and the École Normale Supérieure (Lettres et Sciences Humaines). Among his publications are books and articles on Medieval and Early Modern knighthood, history of the book and reading, medieval political theory, law and culture, Occitan poetry, etc. He has been one of the executive directors of the Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies and a member of the MLA Committee on Scholarly Editions. He was the recipient of the 2010 John K. Walsh award for his article "La urgente presencia de las Siete Partidas". He writes the column "Isla Fluvial" for El Norte de Castilla, Spain's oldest daily newspaper, founded in 1854. He has been elected as a member of the Executive Committee of the MLA LLC Occitan Forum. He is one of the fellows of the 2015 The Op-Ed Project. He served as Chair of the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures between 2013 and 2016.

Academic Statement

My current fields of research include Law and Culture, History of the Book (both manuscript and printed), and Political Theory. Most of my research deals with the periods at the intersection between the Middle Ages and the Early Modern world. Most of my research deals with Iberian and peri-Iberian spaces, including vast parts of Europe, the Mediterranean Basin, and the Transatlantic cultural flows.

For me, teaching and research are closely related. I conceive my classes as a place to explore new questions, to learn new primary sources as well as new critical and theoretical texts. I also consider that historical approaches to current affairs and issues enlighten very dark parts of our present.  I teach how history is still active, and how discourses about the inactivity of the past are only excuses to hamper our critical analyses. I have taught courses about Inquisitions, about narratives on the end of the world, about peace and peacemaking, and others.

All our work is done collectively, thus creating a space that is not only suitable for advising in general, but also for research.