Daniela Bleichmar is Assistant Professor in the departments of Art History and History at the University of Southern California. She was trained as a cultural historian of early modern science and visual culture, specializing in the history of the natural sciences in Europe and the Spanish Americas in the period 1500-1800. She received her BA from Harvard University, and her MA and Ph.D. from Princeton University. Before joining the USC faculty, she held a Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellowship through the USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute.
Her work focuses on the history of the Spanish empire, the production and uses of visual material in science, the history of collecting and display, and the history of the book. Her research and teaching interests include interactions between art and science in the early modern period; early modern visual and material cultures; the history of Iberia, the Spanish Americas, and the Atlantic World; the history of colonialism, imperialism, and global exchanges; the history of collecting and display; the history of print, books, and reading; and the history of travel. At USC, she has taught undergraduate courses on the history of the book and reading, on visual and material culture in colonial Latin America and early modern Europe, and on artistic and cultural exchanges between Europe and Asia in the early modern world, as well as graduate seminars on the history of collecting and display and the history of the book.
Dr. Bleichmar has received multiple prizes and fellowships for her scholarship, among them a Mellon Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship (2004-2006) and a Getty Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship (2008-2009). In 2007 she was honored by Smithsonian Magazine as one of "37 under 36. America's Young Innovators in the Arts and Sciences." In December 2008 she received the USC College General Education Teaching Award.
Her first book, Visible Empire. Colonial Botany and Visual Culture in the Eighteenth-Century Hispanic World, will appear from the University of Chicago Press in 2010. In it, she analyzes a little-known collection of near 13,000 botanical drawings created by artists and naturalists who traveled and worked throughout the Spanish empire between the 1770s and 1810s. These expeditions suggest that images held a starring role in eighteenth-century natural history, especially in long-distance contexts. The book addresses, among other topics, the status and uses of images in eighteenth-century natural history; the importance of visual material in training the expert eyes and skilled hands of naturalists; the role of print culture in establishing a common vocabulary of scientific illustration; the interaction among visual evidence, textual evidence, and material evidence; and the ways in which colonial naturalists and artists appropriated and transformed European models, producing hybrid, local representations.
Dr. Bleichmar is the author of many articles on visual culture and natural history in the Spanish empire. She is a co-editor of Science in the Spanish and Portuguese Empires, 1500-1800 (Stanford University Press, 2008) and of the forthcoming Collecting across Cultures: Material Exchanges in the Early Modern Atlantic World (University of Pennsylvania Press). She is currently working on a new project on the history of collecting in the Spanish Empire.
Profile on USC website. Click here.
Curriculum Vitae. Click here.
Featured in Smithsonian magazine as one of "37 under 36. America's Young Innovators in the Arts and Sciences." Read the article by Rick Wartzman.
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