Vanessa (V.M.) Braganza

Vanessa (V.M.) Braganza

Graduate Student in Renaissance Literature, Department of English at Harvard University
  • Region: Britain
  • Time: 15th Century; 16th Century; 17th Century
  • Theme: British Literature; Cultural History; Cryptography; History of the Book; Women Writers
    Vanessa (‘V.M.’) Braganza is a public intellectual and book detective, and a PhD candidate in English at Harvard. Her research has been profiled in the New York TimesThe Times of London, and Smithsonian Magazine. She writes for Smithsonian Magazine, Mental Floss, and the LA Review of Books. Her academic work has appeared in a variety of scholarly journals and volumes, including the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Women's Writing in English (Sept. 2022). Braganza’s first book project is titled The Secret-Seekers: Renaissance Writers and the Birth of Code, and she is represented by the Creative Artists Agency (CAA).

    A curator whose past work includes programming at the Library of Congress, Braganza was the lead curator of the exhibit 500 Years of Women Authors, Authorizing Themselves on display at Harvard’s Houghton Library in Spring 2022 and digitally browsable here.


    Formerly an Echols Scholar, Braganza graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Medieval and Renaissance Literature from the University of Virginia. She is a member of the Foundation of St. John's College, Cambridge, where she earned her MPhil with Distinction in Renaissance Literature. In 2022, Braganza was named a Harvard Horizons Scholar and a Bowdoin Prize recipient. She was co-coordinator of Harvard's Renaissance Colloquium in 2020-21. She is also a JD candidate at Columbia Law School where she specializes in constitutional law and voting rights.



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