Professor Mark Thurner

Contact details

Name:
Professor Mark Thurner
Qualifications:
BA (hons) [Beloit College]; MA [University of Wisconsin-Madison]; PhD [University of Wisconsin-Madison]
Position:
Professor of Latin American Studies, University of London; Professor Emeritus, University of Florida
Institute:
Institute of Latin American Studies
Location:
Room 227 Second floor, Senate House (South Block)
Phone:
0278628808
Email address:
mark.thurner@sas.ac.uk
Website:
https://ulondon.academia.edu/MarkThurner

Research Summary and Profile

Research interests:
Colonies & Colonization, emigration & immigration, Cultural memory, Globalization & Development, History, Language and Literature (Spanish), Philosophy
Research keywords:
Historiography, Museum Studies, Postcolonial Studies, Latin American History, Anthropology, Theory of History
Regions:
Europe, South America
Summary of research interests and expertise:

Dr. Mark Thurner is an internationally recognized senior scholar in the fields of Latin American History and Anthropology. Mark joined ILAS and SAS in 2014. His current research concerns the history and theory of historiography and museography in Latin America and Europe. He is particularly keen to supervise promising postgraduates developing pioneering research programmes in intellectual and cultural history, the history of anthropology and of natural history, postcolonial studies, and museum studies.

Languages:
Spoken Written
Spanish Fluent Fluent
Publication Details

Related publications/articles:

Date Details
01-Dec-2015 Historical Theory through a Peruvian Looking-Glass

Journal articles

 History and Theory 54:4

01-Dec-2015 In the Museum of the Museum

Journal articles

01-Jul-2015 An Old New World for the History of Historiography

Journal articles

 Storia della Storiografia 67:1

Publications available on SAS-space:

Date Details
Report on the state of UK-based research on Latin America and the Caribbean

PeerReviewed

This report looks at how the UK is responding to and engaging with new developments in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). It addresses in detail the importance of carrying out research on the LAC area, new developments affecting Latin American and Caribbean studies in the UK and the scope and patterns of the research being carried out. The size and composition of the research community are profiled, along with institutional affiliations and research concentrations. Findings are presented on the shifting institutional commitments to research into Latin America and the Caribbean and the challenges faced by the LAC research community, including trends in funding for LAC research, the impact of research assessment exercises and constraints on dissemination and publication.

Mar-2016 Review of Gregory T Cushman, Guano and the Opening of the Pacific World: A Global Ecological History, (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013)

PeerReviewed

Apr-2016 Review of John Slater, Marı´aluz Lopez-Terrada and Jose´ Pardo-Tomas, eds, Medical Cultures of the Early Modern Spanish Empire, Ashgate: Farnham, 2014; 326 pp., 9 figures, 1 table; 9781472428134, £70.00 (hbk)

NonPeerReviewed

Sep-2016 Review of Before the Middle Passage: Translated Portuguese Manuscripts of Atlantic Slave Trading from West Africa to Iberian Territories, 1513–26, Ed. by Trevor P. Hall. Farnham: Ashgate, 2015.

PeerReviewed

Aug-2016 Review of Crawford, The Andean Wonder Drug: Cinchona Bark and Imperial Science in the Spanish Atlantic, 1630-1800, for the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences

PeerReviewed

Jan-2016 Review of The Black Doctors of Colonial Lima: Science, Race, and Writing in Colonial and Early Republican Peru. By José R. Jouve Martín.

NonPeerReviewed

Apr-2016 Review of García Loaeza, Pablo and Victoria L. Garrett eds. (2015) The Improbable Conquest: Sixteenth-Century Letters from the Río de la Plata. The Pennsylvania State University Press (University Park, PA).

NonPeerReviewed

Oct-2017 Piety, beeswax and the Portuguese African slave trade to Lima, Peru, in the early colonial period

PeerReviewed

The demand for beeswax for liturgical and medicinal purposes in the Americas vastly increased with the arrival of the Spanish. However, the absence of bees in early colonial Peru meant that this demand could not be met locally so that beeswax and candles had to be imported. While some beeswax was imported from Spain and from other American regions, an alternative source emerged with the Portuguese slave trade from Senegambia where the product was abundant. Using the account books of one of the main slave traders to Peru, Manuel Bautista Pérez, this paper follows the trajectory of the beeswax from Senegambia to Lima, via Cartagena de Indias and the Panamanian isthmus. It reveals how the trade in an everyday product might link producers and consumers in distant regions and how it was dependent on social relationships, cultural values and ecological conditions that were geographically and historically contingent. It shows how the beeswax trade was inextricably linked to the operation of the Portuguese slave trade so that when Portugal lost the monopoly contract for the introduction of slaves to Spanish America in 1640, the beeswax trade from Africa evaporated despite ongoing demand and profitability. Subsequently Lima imported most of its beeswax from Europe or other American regions, but the operation and profitability of the trade continued to be influenced by the same factors that characterised the trade from Africa. Due the centrality of bees to the story, it reveals how animals may play an important role in history even if they are not regarded as active agents and their significance is circumscribed by humans.

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