October 2, 2019
Episode 123: Scientific, Geographic & Historiographic Inventions of Colombia
The historian Andre Gunder Frank has theorized that former colonies cannot develop economically until they have overcome the legacy of their colonial past. The ways that the United States has overcome the legacy of its colonial past with Great Britain is, in many ways, unique, especially by comparison to the former Spanish Americas.
Today’s guest, Lina del Castillo, recently published a book titled Crafting Republic for the World: Scientific, Geographic, and Historiographic Inventions of Colombia, which offers a new understanding of how Gran Colombia–which split from Spain at the beginning of the 19th century, and then further subdivided into Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador–came to deal with its own past, and the role that science, geography, and history came to play alongside politics as the former colonies grew into nationhood.