Dr. Barbara Ganson

Ph.D., University of Texas

Areas of Expertise

  • Latin American History
  • Aviation History
  • Ethnohistory
  • Rio de la Plata

Email: bganson@fau.edu
Office Phone: (561) 297-4135

faculty photo


Barbara Ganson received her Ph.D. in History from the University of Texas at Austin in 1994. Her first book,  The Guarani Under Spanish Rule in the Rio de la Plata  (Stanford University Press, 2003) won two book prizes: a 2003 Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Title and the 2005 Murdo MacLeod Book Award from the Latin American and Caribbean Section of the Southern Historical Association for the best book in the field of Latin American and Caribbean History, Spanish borderlands, and the Atlantic world, published during the previous two years.  She has served as president of two historical organizations: the Southwestern Historical Association and the Latin American and Caribbean History Section of the Southern Historical Association. She is the former Director of Latin American and Caribbean Studies at FAU. She specializes in two fields of study: Latin American history and aviation history.
Her second book, Texas Takes Wing: A Century of Flight in the Lone Star State was published in January 2014 by the University of Texas Press. In the Spring 2017, she was a research fellow at the Institute of Advanced Jesuit Studies at Boston College. Her third book, The Spiritual Conquest: Early Years of the Jesuit Missions in Paraguay," was published by the Institute of Jesuit Sources at Boston College in December 2017. It is the first bilingual edition of Antonio Ruiz de Montoya's  Conquista espiritual  (1639). The English translation, introduction, and epilogue were completed by Barbara Ganson, while the modern Spanish translation was done by Professor Clinia M. Saffi, a Paraguayan linguist and Professor of Modern Languages at Presbyterian College.  She has written the introduction and edited a new book entitled " Native Peoples, Politics, and Society in Contemporary Paraguay,"  which was published by University of New Mexico Press in 2021.  
Professor Ganson had two essays published in 2020: “The Guaraní People and Their Legacy,” Oxford Bibliographies in Latin American Studies, edited by Ben Vinson III, and “A Patriarchal Society in the Rio de la Plata: Adultery and the Double Standard at Mission Jesús de Tavarangue,1782,” in The Cultural World of the Jesuits in Colonial Latin America, edited by Linda Newson, Institute of Latin American Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London.
In 2022 Dr. Ganson completed a book chapter entitled “Gender Disparities in Guaraní Knowledge, Literacy, and Fashion in the Ecological Borderlands of Colonial Paraguay to the Mid-Nineteenth Century,” forthcoming in  Living with Nature, Cherishing Language: Indigenous Knowledges in the Americas    eds. Justyna Olko and Cynthia Radding under review with Palgrave MacMillan Publishing Company.   
Undergraduate Courses

  • Colonial Latin American History
  • Aerospace History 
  • Ethnohistory
  • Modern Latin American History
  • Independence of Latin America
  • World History
  • Women in Latin American History
  • Senior Seminar on Gender and Technology
  • Introduction to Latin American Studies

Graduate Courses

  • Explorations in Ethnohistory: The Indian in the Americas
  • Comparative Frontiers and Spanish Borderlands

Curriculum Vitae (Available upon request)