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Charles R. Hale, Director SRH 1.310, 2300 Red River Street D0800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512.471.5551

LLILAS New Faculty Presentations Series: "Cartographies of Colombian Independence"

Thu, September 13, 2012 • 12:00 PM • Hackett Room, SRH 1.313

The literature on Spanish American independence has long recognized the trans-imperial character of the struggles. But until now, only sporadic attention has been paid to the cartography produced within this context.  In the first half of her talk, “Cartographies of Colombian Independence,” Dr. Lina del Castillo will trace the social history of select maps of “Colombia” printed during the early 19th century in order to reveal hitherto unknown or forgotten, but nevertheless key, trans-imperial projects and alliances.  She will demonstrate how Spanish Americans seeking independence cunningly mobilized large scientific, cartographic, mercantile, and diplomatic networks in England, the United States, and France. The reach and structure of these vast collaborative networks left clear cartographic fingerprints which not only presented narratives about space and territory, they also shaped memories of place.  But the visual making of Colombia was also about a struggle within.  The second half of the talk examines a selection of the myriad local and regional manuscript maps produced after the wars. These maps evidence various attempts at territorial reorganization that fall roughly into one of two categories: impositions by the national state on localities or proposals by local leaders to the national state. These cartographic debates responded to complex local and regional geopolitical balances of power that can become dizzyingly confusing. Dr. del Castillo makes sense of these cartographic conversations, arguments, and miscommunications by demonstrating how these representations were an essential component of the territorial dimensions of state formation in early republican Spanish America.

Lina del Castillo received her PhD in History from the University of Miami. Her work focuses on the intersections between cartography, contested claims to land and resources, and the formation of the Colombian nation-state during the first half of the nineteenth century. The National Science Foundation funded her dissertation research, which won the University of Miami Barrett Prize for Best PhD dissertation on a Latin American topic.  As Assistant Professor of History at Iowa State University, she won a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship to further her research and teach at the National University in Bogotá, Colombia in Spring 2010 and in the fall of that year she was awarded the Jeannette D. Black Memorial Fellow for the History of Cartography at the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University. She served as a Visiting Scholar at The University of Texas at Austin through LLILAS from 2011-2012 and will begin her position as Assistant Professor of History and Latin American Studies in Fall 2012.

For more information, contact Paloma Diaz.


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