Itineraries of Expertise: Science, Technology, and the Environment in Latin America

Itineraries of Expertise: Science, Technology, and the Environment in Latin America

by Andra Chastain, Timothy Lorek


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Itineraries of Expertise contends that experts and expertise played fundamental roles in the Latin American Cold War. While traditional Cold War histories of the region have examined diplomatic, intelligence, and military operations and more recent studies have probed the cultural dimensions of the conflict, the experts who constitute the focus of this volume escaped these categories. Although they often portrayed themselves as removed from politics, their work contributed to the key geopolitical agendas of the day. The paths traveled by the experts in this volume not only traversed Latin America and connected Latin America to the Global North, they also stretch traditional chronologies of the Latin American Cold War to show how local experts in the early twentieth century laid the foundation for post–World War II development projects, and how Cold War knowledge of science, technology, and the environment continues to impact our world today. These essays unite environmental history and the history of science and technology to argue for the importance of expertise in the Latin American Cold War.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780822945963
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
Publication date: 03/17/2020
Series: INTERSECTIONS: Histories of Environment Series
Edition description: 1
Pages: 366
Sales rank: 1,186,013
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Andra B. Chastain is an assistant professor of history at Washington State University Vancouver, where she teaches Latin American and world history. She has a PhD in History from Yale University.

Timothy W. Lorek is program outreach coordinator in the Program in Latin American Studies at the University of Michigan and teaches courses in Latin American and environmental history. He has a PhD in History from Yale University.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Map of Latin America and Featured Sites of Expertise xi

Introduction Andra B. Chastain Timothy W. Lorek 3

1 Border Crossings and the Remaking of Latin American Cold War Studies Gilbert M. Joseph 29

I Agrarian Antecedents and Rural Development

2 Transplanting "El Tenesí": Mexican Planners in the US South during the Cold War Era Tore C. Olsson 71

3 Strange Priests and Walking Experts: Nature, Spirituality, and Science in Sprouting the Cold War's Green Revolution Timothy W. Lorek 93

4 "Communication for Change" Radio Sutatenza/Acción Cultural Popular, the Catholic Church, and Rural Development in Colombia during the Cold War Mary Roldán 114

II Cold War Scientific Exchanges

5 Challenging Climate and Geopolitics: Cuba, Canada, and Intensive Livestock Exchange in a Cold War Context, from the 1960s to the 1980s Reinaldo Funes-Monzote Steven Palmer 137

6 A Tale of Four Laboratories: Animal Disease, Science, and Politics in Cold War Latin America Thomas Rath 159

7 NASA in Chile: Technology and Visual Culture Pedro Ignacio Alonso Hugo Palmarola 178

III Infrastructures of the Built Environment

8 Planning, Politics, and Praxis at Colombia's Inter-American Housing Lab, 1951-1966 Mark Healey 199

9 Dams and Hydroelectricity: Circulation of Knowledge and Technological Imaginaries in South America, 1945-1970 Fernando Purcell 217

10 Planning the Santiago Metro in Cold War Chile Andra B. Chastain 237

IV Toward New Regimes of Expertise

11 Middle Modernisms: Collecting and Measuring Nature in the Peruvian Amazon Emily Wakild 261

12 Privatizing Expertise: Environmental Scientists and Technocrats in Chile's Transition to Democracy Javiera Barandiarán 282

Conclusion. New Narratives of Technology, Expertise, and Environment in Latin America: The Cold War and Beyond Eden Medina Mark Carey 303

Contributors 331

Index 335

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