Wesleyan portrait of Valeria  López Fadul

Valeria López Fadul

Assistant Professor of History

Public Affairs Center, 208
860-685-2372

Assistant Professor, Latin American Studies

vlopezfadul@wesleyan.edu

BA Yale University
MA Princeton University
PHD Princeton University

Valeria López Fadul

Valeria López Fadul is an Assistant Professor of History and Latin American Studies. She studies the intellectual and cultural history of colonial Latin America and early modern Spain, with a focus on the philosophy of language and the history of science.

López Fadul researches the way knowledge was made and circulated in early Latin America and across the Iberian world. She teaches courses on the history of colonial and modern Latin America, science in the early modern Atlantic, urban and environmental history, and the Amazon.

López Fadul’s book, The Cradle of Words: Language, Knowledge, and Governance in the Spanish Empire (in progress), reconstructs the beliefs and practices with which sixteenth-century humanists, missionaries, and crown officials governed Spanish America’s multilingual domains. It shows that while the multiplicity of languages made governing difficult, these scholars also perceived it as a resource. To those charged with extracting knowledge from Spain’s rapidly expanding empire, language was an archive of local knowledge. In order to access and catalogue it, the Spanish Crown sponsored scientific expeditions, comprehensive censuses, the writing of local and universal histories, and the creation of libraries. The Cradle of Words reveals how these ambitious projects sought collectively to master the human and natural history of the Indies.

López Fadul received a B.A. from Yale University and a Ph.D. from Princeton University. Before coming to Wesleyan, she was a Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Chicago, a scholar in residence at the Newberry Library, and a research fellow at the John Carter Brown Library in Providence, Rhode Island.

Publications

Book Manuscript in Progress

The Cradle of Words: Language, Knowledge, and Governance in the Spanish Empire

Peer-Reviewed Articles and Book Chapters:

“Juan Páez de Castro and the Project of a Universal Library,” in Wars of Knowledge: Imperial Hegemony and the Assembling of Libraries Forum, Pacific Coast Philology, Vol. 52, No. 2, 2017, pp. 173-183.

“Language as Archive: Etymologies and the Remote History of Spain,” in Mercedes García-Arenal (ed.), After Conversion: Iberia and the Emergence of Modernity, (Leiden: Brill, 2016), pp. 95-125.

“Aurel Stein’s Methods and Aims in Archaeology on the Silk Road,” in Helen Wang (ed.), Sir Aurel Stein, Colleagues and Collections, British Museum Research Publication 184, London 2012, pp. 1–7.

Web-Based Publications

“Language and the Ancient History of a New World,” in Contextos (Center for Latin American Studies, The University of Chicago, January 2017).

 

 

 

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Fall 2018:  Wednesdays 2 - 4 and by appointment, in Pac 208.

Courses

Fall 2018
HIST 296 - 01
Colonial Latin America

HIST 348 - 01
Urban Latin America

Spring 2019
HIST 245 - 01
Modern Latin America Since1810

HIST 373 - 01
Language and Power