Dec 4-6, 2019
Alexander von Humboldt: Circulation of State-Knowledge in Europe and Latin America

Contact and Registration

Information: Helge Wendt or Diana von Römer

Conference registration: anmeldung@cmb.hu-berlin.de
Keynote Lecture registration: registration@iai.spk-berlin.de

December 4, 2019

18:30 Keynote by Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra (University of Texas, Austin)

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 (CMB /Sciences Po, Paris) and Helge Wendt (MPIWG)
    • Introduction to the Conference
  • Lothar Schilling (University of Augsburg)
    • State Reform by Circulating Knowledge. Remarks on Enlightened Concept and its Long-Term Effects

10:30 Coffee Break

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

  • 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 2: The Atlantic World as a Crossroad of Experts

  • 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 Empire to the Rhine Region? Alexander von Humboldt, Agricultural Enlightenment and Tobacco Cultivation around 1800

15:30 Coffee Break

16:00 Panel 3: Creating Knowledge for the Independent Nation States

  • 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)
  • 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

End 17:30

December 6, 2019

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

09:30 PANEL 4: The Population as an Object of State Expertise

  • José Enrique Covarubias (UNAM)
    • Humboldt's knowledge about land and people in the North-West regions of New Spain
  • Claudia Damasceno Fonseca (EHESS, Paris)
    • The urban geography and history of Humboldt and Saint-Hilaire
  • Mathieu Aguilera (Sciences Po, Paris)
    • The naturalist, the colonel and the geographer. The Cuban Laboratory for Spanish Administrative Statistics (ca 1820 - ca 1850) 

11:00 Coffee Break

11:30 Panel 5: Mobilizing New Resources for the Public Good

  • Helge Wendt (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin)
    • Humboldt and the 19th-century American energy crisis
  • Ulrich Päßler (BBAW)
    • 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 6: Networks of Persons and Objects between Europe and Latin America

  • Darina Marykánová (CSIC, Madrid)
    • Foreign engineers-centraliens from Latin America
  • Sandra Carreras (Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut SPK, Berlin)
    • On Humboldt’s Path? German-speaking experts in South America

15:30 Coffee Break


  • 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
  • Glenn Penny (University of Iowa)
    • Harnessing Humboldt: German Science and State-Building in Central America in the Second Half of the 19th century

17:30 End of the Conference

2019-12-04T18:30:00SAVE IN I-CAL 2019-12-04 18:30:00 2019-12-06 17:30:00 Alexander von Humboldt: Circulation of State-Knowledge in Europe and Latin America MPIWG Helge Wendt admin@example.com Europe/Berlin public