Valeria López Fadul
Provost's Postdoctoral Scholar
PhD 2015 (history) Princeton University
AB (history) Yale University
During her postdoctoral fellowship, Valeria will teach and expand her dissertation, "Languages, Knowledge, and Empire in the Early Modern Iberian World, 1492–1650," for publication. Valeria studies early modern Iberian and colonial Latin American intellectual history with a focus on the philosophy of language. Her dissertation reassesses the linguistic component of Spanish imperialism by reconstructing the beliefs and practices with which scholars, missionaries, and crown officials confronted the challenges of governing a vast, multilingual, and transoceanic empire. She argues that rather than suppressing native languages Spanish scholars and administrators retrieved in them information about the history of their speakers or about their experiences of the natural world. The Spanish crown sponsored scientific expeditions, comprehensive censuses, local and universal histories, and the creation of libraries in order to harness linguistic knowledge for its own political benefit.
Valeria's second research project builds upon her interest in the intellectual networks spanning the Iberian Atlantic by focusing on a group of historical, natural historical, and legal compilations of the first half of the seventeenth century. These compendia, which have yet to be examined together, were the products of continuous and increasing exchanges between scholarly circles working in Seville, Madrid, New Spain, and Peru.
HIST 26121, HIPS 26121, LACS 26121 Nature, Science, and Empire in the Early Modern Iberian World, 1400–1800 (Spring 2017)