Vergara Named Cisneros Visiting Scholar at Harvard University
Posted April 13, 2022
Congratulations to Assistant Professor Germán Vergara, who was selected as the 2022-2023 Cisneros Visiting Scholar at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University! He will spend next year in Boston, Massachusetts, working on his project Becoming History: Species Extinctions and Capitalism in Latin America Since 1800.
Vergara is an environmental historian and published his first book, Fueling Mexico: Energy and Environment,1850-1950, in 2021. It was inspired by a childhood question and tells the story of energy history in Latin America for the first time, exploring the people, policies, and decisions that catapulted Mexico from wood to coal to oil dependency.
At Harvard, Vergara plans to continue his research and begin drafting parts of his new book, Becoming History. The project will study the interconnected economic, political, social, and environmental factors that have caused mammal, bird, and amphibian population declines and species loss in the region over the past two centuries.
"Latin America is one of the global epicenters of the current extinction crisis, having lost over 100 animal species in the past few centuries," Vergara said. "It is also the single most biologically diverse region in the world, yet there is virtually no historical scholarship on extinctions in the region."
Becoming History will examine the historical causes behind Latin America’s current extinction crisis using a variety of sources, including government documents, scientific reports, natural histories, images, and photographs that Vergara has collected over the past two years.
The appointment will also allow Vergara to build bridges between Harvard and Georgia Tech and bring those connections and inspiration back to his students in the School of History and Sociology.
Congratulations, Germán, on the well-deserved appointment!
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