Alexander von Humboldt: Circulation of State Knowledge in Europe and Latin America, Berlin, 04.12.2019 – 06.12.2019.


December 4, 2019

19:00 Keynote by Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra (University of Texas, Austin), „On Epistemological Colonialism: from Humboldt to the Present (and Back Again)“

Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut SPK, Potsdamer Str. 37, 10785 Berlin

December 5, 2019

Centre Marc Bloch, Friedrichstraße 191, 10117 Berlin

09:00 Registration

09:30 Introduction

Jakob Vogel (Centre Marc Bloch/Sciences Po, Paris) and Helge Wendt (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin)
Introduction to the Conference

Lothar Schilling (University of Augsburg)
State Reform by Circulating Knowledge. Remarks on an Enlightened Concept and its Long-Term Effects

10:30 Coffee Break

11:00 PANEL 1: State Experts and the Economic Development

Chair: Fidel José Tavárez Simon (Freie Universität Berlin)

Nuria Valverde Pérez (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Cuajimalpa)
In Pursuit of (Public) Goods: Civil Servants, Knowledge and the Alternative Futures of the Spanish Empire

Gabe Paquette (University of Oregon)
Linkages between Political Economy and Statecraft in the Spanish and Luso-Brazilian Worlds (Jovellanos, Malaspina, Souza Coutinho and Silva Lisbon)

Jakob Vogel (Sciences Po, Paris/Centre Marc Bloch, Berlin)
State Knowledge in the Times of Economic Liberalism. Alexander von Humboldt, Jean-Baptiste Boussingault and the „Latin American Mining Boom“ of the 1820s and 1830s

12:30 Lunch Break

14:00 PANEL 2a: Creating Knowledge for the Independent Nation States

Chair: Birgit Aschmann (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Fabrício Prado (William and Mary)
Networks of Knowledge and Revolution in Rio de la Plata and Brazil: the Emergence of the Banda Oriental (1777–1822)

Eduardo Torres-Cuevas (Biblioteca Nacional de Cuba José Martí, Havana)
El nacimiento de las ciencias modernas en Cuba. El efecto Humboldt

15:00 Coffee Break

15:30 PANEL 2b: Creating Knowledge for the Independent Nation States

Clément Thibaud (EHESS, Paris)
Humboldt and the Ilustrados of New Granada: From Natural Laws to Constitutional Invention

Lina M. del Castillo (University of Texas, Austin)
Broken Polity, Forgotten Science: Humboldt’s Scientific Network in the Shaping and Fragmenting of the Gran Colombian Republic, 1820–1830
Glenn Penny (University of Iowa)

Harnessing Humboldt: German Science and State-Building in Central America in the Second Half of the 19th Century

End 17:00

December 6, 2019

Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Boltzmannstr. 22, 14195 Berlin

09:30 PANEL 3: The Atlantic World as a Crossroad of Experts

Chair: Lucía Lewowicz (Universidad de la República Oriental de Uruguay, Montevideo)

Pierre Nobi (Sciences Po, Paris)
Rediscovering America, Rediscovering Yellow Fever. Alexander von Humboldt’s Study of the Vómito Negro of Veracruz in the Context of the Circulation of Medical and State Knowledge in the Atlantic World (1790s–1820s)

Alexander van Wickeren (Universität zu Köln)
From the Spanish to the Napoleonic Empire? Alexander von Humboldt, Agricultural Enlightenment and Tobacco Cultivation around 1800
José Enrique Covarubias (Universidad Naciona Autónoma de México, Mexico City)

Humboldt’s Knowledge about Land and People in the North-West Regions of New Spain

11:00 Coffee Break

11:30 PANEL 4: Mobilizing New Resources for the Public Good

Chair: Sebastian Jobs (Freie Universität Berlin)

Helge Wendt (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin)
Humboldt and the 19th-century American Energy Crisis
Ulrich Päßler (Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berlin)

The Invisible Hand of Nature? Humboldt’s Concept of Dynamic Equilibrium between Natural Research, Universal History and Political Economy

12:30 Lunch Break

14:00 PANEL 5: Networks of Persons and Objects between Europe and Latin America

Chair: Peter Birle (IAI SPK, Berlin)

Darina Martykánová (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
Transatlantic Careers: Foreign Engineers in Latin America, Latin American Engineers all around the World

Sandra Carreras (Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut SPK, Berlin)
On Humboldt’s Path? German-speaking Experts in South America

Carlos Rodrigo Sanhueza Cerda (Universidad de Chile)
A Cosmos under Construction. Alexander von Humboldt and the Mobility of Data and Instruments in the Global Circulation of Knowledge

15:30 Coffee Break

16:00 Final Discussion


Helge Wendt
Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte
E-Mail: hwendt@mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de.

Contact and Registration

Conference registration: ANMELDUNG@CMB.HU-BERLIN.DE
Keynote Lecture registration: REGISTRATION@IAI.SPK-BERLIN.DE