About Me

A view onto Santa Fe from the building that we affectionately call "the Titanic."

Professor of History

I am a professor of history in the División de Historia at the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas, A.C. (CIDE). (On sabbatical leave.)


I am currently an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of International Politics at City, University of London. 


Until recently, I was a Visiting Professor in the Department of History 

at the University of São Paulo.



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Research Interests

I study the early modern spatial imagination with a particular emphasis on how Euclidean notions of space shaped the way that things beyond direct experience were "seen," including, for example, the solar system, the whole earth, or any part of the terrestrial surface. Along these lines, I am interested in two things. First, I seek to understand how Euclidean space produced a visual culture in which spatial projection was linked to a positive anthropology. Second, I wish to know how Euclidean space impelled changes in longstanding views of the relationship between humanity, cosmos, and God. 

The cover to my most recent book

Most Recent Book

The Spatial Reformation offers a sweeping history of the way Europeans conceived of three-dimensional space, including the relationship between Earth and the heavens, between 1350 and 1850. It argues that this "spatial reformation" provoked a reorganization of knowledge in the West that was arguably as important as the religious Reformation. Notably, it had its own sacred text, which proved as central and was as ubiquitously embraced: Euclid's Elements. Aside from the Bible, no other work was so frequently reproduced in the early modern era. This work's penetration and suffusion throughout European thought and daily experience call for a deliberate reconsideration not only of what constitutes the intellectual foundation of the early modern era but also of its temporal range.

The Cathedral in St. Albans, UK.

Forthcoming Book

The Burdens of Knowing: European Thought and Culture, 1350-1992 is under contract at Routledge, UK. Expected to appear in late 2020, this book will be the only single-volume survey of European intellectual history from the late medieval period to the modern one

A rare copy of the Biblia Regia, which I discovered in the library of the Convento San Francisco

Current Research: "The Transatlantic Mind: European Libraries in Colonial Latin America"

I am studying the history of European libraries in colonial Latin America and have examined important collections in Argentina (La Manzana Jesuítica), Brazil (O Monasteiro de São Bento), Mexico (La Biblioteca Palafoxiana), and Peru (El Convento San Francisco).

Curriculum vitae

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