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Eloisa Ocando Thomas

Historical anthropologist with an interest in consumption, food history and economic exchange in colonial Latin America. She has a joint MA degree from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (France) and Eotvos Lorand University (Hungary) ; and graduate of the School of Anthropology of the Universidad Central de Venezuela (2019). She is the author of 'Las pulperías en la Caracas del siglo XVIII' (2020), winner of the 2019-2020 Rafael María Baralt History Prize.

Recent projects include an analysis of small shops (pulperías) in late-colonial Caracas and the role of cassava bread in nationalist discourse in late 19th-century Venezuela. Eloisa is currently a PhD student at Warwick, under the supervision of Prof. Rebecca Earle (History) exploring the consumption of imported goods in colonial Venezuela.


Eloisa Ocando Thomas

Research interests

  • History of consumption
  • Food heritage & nationalism
  • Food & identity
  • Latin American colonial & post-colonial history


  • Spanish (native)
  • English (C2)
  • French (B2)

PhD project overview

Under Prof. Rebecca Earle's supervision, I will be exploring import goods in colonial Venezuela during the 18th century. I'm grateful to the University of Warwick for funding this project under a Chancellor's International Scholarship.

Things-in-motion, understood in the broadest sense, can showcase the lives of those often ignored in official historical accounts. This project will focus on the things used, bought, eaten, and drunk in specific spaces of Spanish America, to understand how “peripheral” social actors interacted within and influenced complex networks of power, value and social relations that shape past and contemporary societies. Using the Province of Venezuela in the late 18th century as a case study, this project aims to analyse the agency of underrepresented social actors within larger consumption and exchange dynamics in the Atlantic region, through an examination of consumption practices. I intend to understand what were the imported goods consumed and the paths they followed from production to consumption in 18th-century Venezuela, who were the social agents involved in the circulation of these goods, and what were the discourses deployed around specific goods at the time.



2020 OCANDO THOMAS, E. Las pulperías en la Caracas del siglo XVIII. Academia Nacional de la Historia de Venezuela & Fundación Bancaribe para la Ciencia y la Cultura. Caracas, Venezuela. 160 p. ISBN: 978-980-7125-26-0.

Journal articles

2024 [forthcoming] OCANDO THOMAS, E. “Negocios turbios y vendedores útiles: El trabajo en las pulperías de Caracas en el siglo XVIII”, Presente y pasado. Dossier: El trabajo en la Venezuela colonial. Editor: Prof. Emanuele Amodio.

2021 OCANDO THOMAS, E. “Objetos memoriosos. Arqueología, identidad nacional y museos”. Conference proceedings. Antropologías del Sur: visiones, complejidades, resistencias y desafíos. Memorias del Primer congreso internacional de Antropologías del Sur, octubre 2016. Annel Mejías (coord.). Venezuela, Red de Antropologías del Sur. ISBN: 978-980-18-0570-0

2019 OCANDO THOMAS, E. “Las pulperías en la Caracas del siglo XVIII”. Memorias de Venezuela, vol. 15. ISSN 2244-7091.

Honours and awards

  • 2023 - Chancellor’s International Scholarship from the University of Warwick. Full scholarship for the duration of PhD studies. Coventry, United Kingdom.
  • 2021-2023 Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters degree Partner country Scholarship (full scholarship) from TEMA+ consortium (Eötvos Loránd University). Budapest, Hungary
  • 2020 – Rafael María Baralt National History Award (first place). Academia Nacional de la Historia. Caracas, Venezuela
  • 2019 – Valedictorian, class of 2019. Escuela de Antropología, Universidad Central de Venezuela. Caracas, Venezuela.


PhD History - University of Warwick (UK) 2023 - 2027

Project: Colonial goods in early modern times: Consumption networks of import commodities in late eighteenth-century Caracas. Supervisor: Prof. Rebecca Earle.

MA History, identity and cultural heritage - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (France) / Eötvos Lorànd University (Hungary) 2021 - 2023

Project: Identités à table: le casabe dans le discours nationaliste au Venezuela (18e au 19e siècle). Supervisors: Prof. Clément Thibaud (EHESS), Prof. Czoch Gabor (ELTE)

Bachelors in Anthropology - Escuela de Antropología, Universidad Central de Venezuela 2011 - 2019

Project: Las pulperías en la Caracas del siglo XVIII. Supervisor: Prof. Emanuele Amodio

Conference participation

2023 TEMA+ Conference Eötvos Loránd University - Budapest, Hungary

Identités à table: casabe in venezuelan nationalist discourse, 18th to 19th century

2022 Food and Drink studies summer school IEHCA (Institut Européen de l'Histoire et des Cultures de l'Alimentation) - Tours, France

Identités à table: le casabe dans le discours patrimonial au Venezuela

2018 Foro estudiantil latinoamericano de Arqueología y Antropología Barquisimeto, Venezuela

Las pulperías en América Latina

2017 14º Congreso Nacional de Historia Regional y Local Centro Nacional de Historia de Venezuela - San Felipe, Venezuela

Mujeres pulperas en Caracas en el siglo XVIII

2016 Jornadas de Investigación del Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas y Sociales Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Sociales, Universidad Central de Venezuela - Caracas, Venezuela

Consturcción de identidades y paisajes culturales a partir de los viajeros a Indias, Venezuela en el siglo XVIII

2016 1er Congreso Internacional de Antropología del Sur Universidad de Los Andes - Mérida, Venezuela

Objetos memoriosos: Arqueología, identidad nacional y museos