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Global History and Culture Centre Blog

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Global History and Latin America: A Historiography under Development

Global History remains a relatively unknown field in Latin American historiography, despite its popularity in European academia. Some Latin Americanist historians, aware of this situation, have recently focused attention to this “lack of attachment” to Global History in the region. In this blog entry, inspired by two articles by Matthew Brown (2015) and Sven Schuster and Gabriella de Grecco Lima (2020), Camilo Uribe Botta discusses the characteristics of the debate about the usefulness of Global History for the analysis of Latin American history, and proposes some new ideas that could help in the development of a new field.

“Orchids of the greatest rarity of Colombia”: collecting orchids in the Northern Andes in the 1840s

Orchids are one of the most popular plants in the world. But back in the nineteenth century, orchids, specially the tropical ones, were a botanical curiosity and an exotic and expensive item only a few could afford. Those plants were extracted from the tropical jungles of South America to be sold in auctions in Britain. In this blog post, Camilo Uribe Botta shows how the networks created between Colombia, Belgium and Britain in the 1840s led to a constant supply of plants from the tropical Andes and also to new botanical discoveries and innovative methods on how to cultivate them in Britain.