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.
Meetings are held on first Thursdays of the month at noon Eastern time.

Please set your timezone at https://www.chstm.org/user

Consortium Respectful Behavior Policy

Participants at Consortium activities will treat each other with respect and consideration to create a collegial, inclusive, and professional environment that is free from any form of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.

Participants will avoid any inappropriate actions or statements based on individual characteristics such as age, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, nationality, political affiliation, ability status, educational background, or any other characteristic protected by law. Disruptive or harassing behavior of any kind will not be tolerated. Harassment includes but is not limited to inappropriate or intimidating behavior and language, unwelcome jokes or comments, unwanted touching or attention, offensive images, photography without permission, and stalking.

Participants may send reports or concerns about violations of this policy to conduct@chstm.org.

Upcoming Meetings

  • Thursday, February 3, 2022 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm EST


  • Thursday, March 3, 2022 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm EST


  • Thursday, April 7, 2022 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm EDT


  • Thursday, May 5, 2022 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm EDT


  • Thursday, June 2, 2022 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm EDT


Past Meetings

  • December 2, 2021

    Dear all,
    Please join us next week, Thursday, December 2nd for the discussion "Latin America in the global histories of science & the environment" led by Prof. Eve Buckley (University of Delaware) with two leading scholars in the field: Prof. Lise Sedrez (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro) and Prof. Stuart McCook (University of Guelph). We plan to discuss readings 1 & 2 and the presenters provided two additional readings that might be of interest to group members. 

  • November 4, 2021

    Join us for a lightning round of five presentations followed by questions and answers.
    Julio Aguilar, University of California-Davis
    Priscilla Cisternas, University of California-Davis
    Adriana Guadarrama Sosa, Universidad de Granada
    Andrei Guadarrama, Columbia University
    Maritza Gomez, El Colegio de Mexico

  • October 7, 2021

    Join us on Thursday, Oct. 7th @ 12 EST for a conversation about conducting research at the Linda Hall Library. Ben Gross, Vice President for Research and Scholarship, will give us a snapshot of what the Library has to offer followed by testimonies from former fellows Rocio Gomez, Justin Castro & Carlos Dimas. 

  • May 27, 2021

    Rethinking Center-Periphery 
    David Edgerton.
    Gisela Mateos and Edna Suarez.
    Mara Dicenta and Ezequiel Sosiuk.

  • April 22, 2021

    Join us Thursday, April 22nd @2PM EST for (Re)Producing Medical Knowledge in Modern Latin America, a conversation on the history of medicine and the politics of reproductive knowledge and reproductive agency in Modern Latin America. Bianca Premo (Florida International University & Guggenheim Fellow) will present a talk entitled, "Carrión Avenue: Routes to the Scientific Truth about Peru’s Youngest Mother in the World.”  This showcases her new research on the complicated story of Lina Medina, Peru’s youngest mother, who gave birth in 1939 at the age of five, and how a transnational medical community varyingly dismissed and objectified her case and the medical condition of precocious puberty.  Elizabeth O’Brien (Johns Hopkins University) will offer a presentation entitled, “‘I’ll walk wherever I damn please’: Agency, Resistance, and the Patient’s Voice in Mexican Medical History,” which explores the experiential and embodied histories of reproductive surgery in Modern Mexico.  The conversation will include a larger discussion about the place of Latin America in the History of Medicine.

  • March 25, 2021

    Technology and the Environment in Latin America
    Presenters: Sara B. Pritchard and Carl A. Zimring (authors of Technology and the Environment in History).
    Discussants: David Pretel and Mikael Wolfe.

  • February 25, 2021

    Engineering Latin America
    Join us for a session with Ted Beatty,  Israel Solares, Luz María Uhthoff, Cecilia Zuleta and Justin Castro to learn about their projects on engineers in the region's history.

  • January 28, 2021

    Join us for a conversation with professors Bernardita Escobar Andrae, Pablo Galaso, Aurora Gomez-Galvarriato & Martin Monsalve Zanatti about the intersection of technology and business development during the first half of the twentieth-century in Latin America.

  • December 17, 2020

    Dear Working Group members, please join us next Thursday, December 17th @2PM EST for our first Lightning Round- and our last 2020 session.
    The lineup looks great, take a look! 
    Dr. Lucas Erichsen (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro)
    "Voracious History: Meat Consumption and Public Slaughterhouses
     in Rio de Janeiro (1777-1881)"
    Maria Paula Andrade (Vanderbilt University)
    "The Jailed Poor and the Making of Brazilian Public Health 
    from the Margins, 1834-1852.”
    Jayson Maurice Porter (Northwestern University)
    "Oilseeds and Slippery Slopes: Political Ecology and Environmental 
    Change in Guerrero, Mexico, 1930-1980.”
    Clara Cuevas (El Colegio de México)
    “'Un poco de sangre’: una historia de la venta de sangre 
    en México, 1950 - 1987.”
    Verónica Uribe del Aguila (University of California, San Diego)
     “The Maker” in La Maquila:  Digital Manufacturing Technologies 
    and the Promise of Flexible Labor in Mexico." 
    Francisco Tijerina (Washington University in St. Louis) 
    “Mundos en común y literaturas postautónomas en las 
    configuraciones del neoextractivismo mexicano.”

  • November 19, 2020

    Everyday Use, Repair & Maintenance in Latin American History. Participants: please visit the page for the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT)'s Technology's Stories to browse the Dossier "Dailogues: History of Technology in Africa and the Americas." http://www.technologystories.org

Group Conveners

  • Dmontano's picture

    Diana Montaño

    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. Her first book Electrifying Mexico 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 (https://utpress.utexas.edu/books/montano-electrifying-mexico). For her articles on the intersection of humor and class in streetcar accidents see History of Technology (https://tinyurl.com/5cr7r6hu -) and  Technology's Stories (https://tinyurl.com/p4ucsmns). For her HAHR article on power theft in turn-of-the-century Mexico see https://tinyurl.com/9chy8s8v


  • DavidPretel's picture

    David Pretel

    David Pretel is lecturer in global history at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. His research focuses on the history of Latin American commodities, intellectual property rights and the entangled histories of technology, capitalism and the environment in the Caribbean. His first book, "Institutionalising Patents in Nineteenth-Century Spain" (Palgrave Macmillan), 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 co-editor of the volumes "The Caribbean and the Atlantic World Economy: Circuits of Trade, Money and Knowledge, 1650-1914" and "Technology and Globalisation: Networks of Experts in World History". His recent publications include articles in the journals History of Technology, Global Environment, Historia Mexicana, Business History, Latin America in Economic History and Economic History Research. 
    His works, CV, and other details can be found on his website 


  • jragas's picture

    José Ragas

    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.


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