Sophia Spielmann studied sociocultural anthropology at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), Argentina, with a focus on historical anthropology. She graduated in 2020 with a thesis on the exchange of medicinal and pharmaceutical knowledge between Guarani and Jesuits in the Paraguay missions during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
In late 2020, she began working on her doctoral research at the Technische Universität (TU) Berlin, supervised by Prof. Dr. Friedrich Steinle and Prof. Dr. Staffan Müller-Wille (University of Cambridge). Her project focuses on the pharmaceutical plant ipecacuanha as an example of knowledge exchange practices between South America and Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. By following the trajectory of one plant through various contexts, she aims to understand the ethical, legal, and commercial mediations that permeated specific instances of knowledge exchange and appropriation. She is particularly interested in the negotiations, compensations, and conflicts that emerged in these exchanges.
At the MPIWG, she is working towards her PhD as a predoctoral fellow in Department I.