Celia Rodríguez Tejuca – From the Ground Up: Picturing Scientific Knowledge in the Late Eighteenth-Century Spanish Americas

Celia’s dissertation project examines scientific images and objects conceived in the Spanish Americas that communicated local initiatives to a broad community of readers and viewers—colonial, imperial, and trans-imperial—in the second half of the eighteenth century. Previous scholarship has tended to emphasize top-down endeavors of imperial scientific exploration and the resultant visual materials. This study instead works from the ground up, looking at projects initiated by scientific actors in different colonial locales and the visual archives they generated, which were critical to the management of imperial resources and the development of modern science. Accounting for this corpus, she argues, allows us to see that, in the late eighteenth century, science became a vibrant social space where colonial actors made intellectual claims via images to multiple publics for personal, political, and financial ends. The aims of the project are therefore: to historicize the emergence and development of visual scientific cultures in the late eighteenth-century Spanish Americas; to develop an interpretative model for examining colonial visual documents operating within multi-scale models of sociability (colonial, imperial, and trans-imperial); and to evaluate the distinctive ways in which visual artifacts conceived in the Americas for the transmission of knowledge shaped Enlightenment science.

Celia Rodríguez Tejuca is a doctoral candidate in the History of Art department at Johns Hopkins University, where she studies early modern Latin American art and visual culture. She is currently the 2023-2025 Andrew W. Mellon predoctoral fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (National Gallery of Art). She received her MA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2019 and her BA (summa cum laude) from the University of Havana (Cuba) in 2015. Before arriving in the United States, Rodríguez Tejuca lectured on Latin American Art and Art of the Twentieth Century at the University of Havana. In Cuba, she also served as chief editor of the journal Cine Cubano, and film curator at the independent film festival Muestra Joven of the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry. Her research has been supported by the John Carter Brown Library, The Huntington Library, the Decorative Arts Trust, the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, and the Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max Planck Institute for Art History in Rome.

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Academies Editorial Board (2024, 29. Februar). Celia Rodríguez Tejuca – From the Ground Up: Picturing Scientific Knowledge in the Late Eighteenth-Century Spanish Americas. TRANSREGIONAL ACADEMIES. Abgerufen am 21. Mai 2024, von https://doi.org/10.58079/vxln

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