Paper Technologies:
The Materiality of Empire & State Formation in Latin America

This two-day conference at Wesleyan and Yale Universities examines the material dimensions of empire and state formation in Latin America. It works to understand the political, legal, and cultural processes of empire and state formation in relation to concrete quotidian practices of inscription. Through the creation of artifacts such as printed books, manuscripts, passports, and other kinds of technologies, Iberian empires and post-colonial states took on tangible forms as they worked to regulate social relations on the ground. At the same time, subjects actively shaped empire and state making by engaging with paper in pursuit of their own hopes and dreams. By bringing together an interdisciplinary group of scholars working on the colonial and national periods, our conference examines the continuities and transformations of practice and form that cross traditional historical periodizations while identifying moments when technological, legal, or political change provoked disjunctures or ruptures in the material methods of statecraft

The conference is open to the public and features panels of pre-circulated papers and keynote lectures. Please consult the program for further information, and click here to register for the conference.

Email to request access to the pre-circulated papers.

Image Credit: Detail, Cover Sheet, Notaria Segunda, 1595, Archivo Histórico Regional del Boyacá, digitalized by Fundación Histórica Neogranadina