Daniela Bleichmar

STS Faculty

Assistant Professor of Art History and History

Phone: (213) 821-6364
Office: VKC 351
Daniela Bleichmar holds a joint appointment in the Departments of Art History and History. She was trained as a cultural historian of early modern science, specializing in the history of visual culture and the natural sciences in Europe and the Spanish Americas in the period 1500-1800. Her work focuses on the production and uses of visual material in science, the history of collecting and display, the history of the book, and the history of the Spanish empire.

Dr. Bleichmar is currently finishing a book entitled Visible Empire. Colonial Botany and Visual Culture in the Hispanic Enlightenment, under contract with the University of Chicago Press. In this book, she examines five scientific expeditions sent by the Spanish crown to the Americas and the Philippines between 1777 and 1808. These expeditions brought together naturalists and artists, who collaborated to produce thousands of illustrations of imperial nature. The book discusses 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.

Her research and teaching interests include the history of art and science in the Spanish empire; the history of collecting and display; interactions between art and science; colonialism and imperialism; print, books, and reading; scholarly practices; travel; and anatomy and medicine. 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 is the author of multiple articles on visual culture and natural history in the Spanish empire (detailed below) and a co-editor of Science in the Spanish and Portuguese Empires, 1500-1800 (Stanford University Press, 2008). She is currently co-editing with Peter Mancall a volume entitled Collecting across Cultures in the Early Modern World, which will be published by the University of Pennsylvania Press. She is also working on two new projects, one on collecting in the Spanish Empire and the other on traditions of visual evidence in the Spanish Empire.

Anne Balsamo
Daniela Bleichmar
K. C. Cole
Manuel Castells
Antonio Damasio
Susan Forsburg
G. Clinton Godart
Deborah Harkness
Katie Hasson
Andrew Lakoff
Dan Lainer-Vos
Paul Lerner
Shrikanth Narayanan
John Brooks Slaughter
Mark Thompson