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History Ph.D. Student @ Cornell University


am a Colombian researcher of Andean Latin America and the Caribbean Sea. I participated as a research assistant in projects related to manumission in Great Colombia (XIX century), maritime history in the eighteenth century, and studies of medicine and women during the same period. I am broadly interested in seascapes, maritime heritage, and global history. I am working as an academic assistant and archivist for the Laboratory of Historical Research in Colonial Studies, Cartagena University. The first article I published was about communication in the Spanish Empire in the sixteenth century and I am about to publish a second one on seascapes in Revista Memorias: ‘Lights and navigation: the transformation of the Colombian maritime cultural landscape (1870-1930).

Geographical location : Colombia

Research Area and Interest : Maritime history, historical geography, landscapes

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Illuminating the Colombian Shores: Lighthouses and the Transformation of the Maritime Cultural Landscapes

This research aims to analyze how navigation aids transformed the Colombian maritime cultural landscape between 1850 and 1930. I use Cartagena de Indias, one of the most important ports of Colombia, as a study case that shows this transformation. The introduction of maritime signalization changed the way people, locals, and foreigners, projected and navigated the coastal zones. Thus, in this presentation, I show, in the first place the relationship between navigation (wayfinding and locomotion), steamboats, and light settlement on the Atlantic coasts of Colombia. Secondly, I expose the participation of entrepreneurs and the government in the installation of lighthouses and buoys in the littorals. Finally, I identify how skilled and unskilled workers contributed to the maintenance of the lanterns in the Colombian ports. To do this research I used cartography and manuscripts from the National Archives of Colombia, the National Library, the Archives of Cartagena de Indias, the Bank of images of Cartagena (fototeca), and the Library of National Bank of Colombia.

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