History of Science, Technology and Medicine in Latin America
The Working Group will meet monthly during the 2020-2021 academic year to advance the conversation of researchers in this expanding field. The multilocality of the Group’s core members (United States, Chile, and Spain), and their respective temporal (16th-20th centuries) and geographic areas of expertise (Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Chile, and the Caribbean), will contribute to the scholarly analysis of the variegated Latin American experiences. The Group will be coordinated through three central nodes. Diana Montaño will organize the node in the United States; David Pretel will direct the Spanish node; and José Ragas will organize the Chilean node.
Diana Montaño is Assistant Professor at Washington University in St. Louis. Her teaching and research interests broadly include the construction of modern Latin American societies with a focus on technology and its relationship to nationalism, everyday life, and domesticity. She is completing the manuscript Electrifying Mexico, which looks at how "electrifying agents" (businessmen, salespersons, inventors, doctors, housewives, maids, and domestic advisors) used electricity, both symbolically and physically, in the construction of a modern nation. Taking a user-based perspective, Dr. Montaño reconstructs how electricity was lived, consumed, rejected, and shaped in everyday life. She contributed an article to the 2019 special issue of Technology in Latin American History for History of Technology.
David Pretel is Lecturer and Researcher in Global History at Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona. He is a historian specializing in science and technology studies, environmental humanities, and the history of capitalism in Latin America. Dr. Pretel’s first book, "Institutionalising Patents in Nineteenth-Century Spain", examined the development of the Spanish patent system (1826–1902), providing a fundamental reassessment of its evolution in an international and imperial context. He is a co-editor of, and contributor to, the volumes "The Caribbean and the Atlantic World Economy" and "Technology and Globalisation".
His works, CV, and other details can be found on his website
José Ragas is an Assistant Professor at Instituto de Historia in Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, where he teaches courses related to STS and global history. Dr. Ragas holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis. Previously to his appointment in Chile, he was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Science & Technology Studies at Cornell University and Lecturer in the Program in the History of Science and History of Medicine at Yale. His current book manuscript examines the emergence of a techno-social system engineered to capture and store personal data in Peru between 1820 and 1930. He is also interested in how, over the past two centuries, ordinary people have manipulated identification devices and challenged the restricted categories of personal identity imposed by policymakers in the Global South.
Upcoming Meetings (all times Eastern)
There are no currently scheduled upcoming events.