Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Neil Safier ('87)
OK he's technically not in our class, but many of us were classmates with him in Sr. Martinez's spanish class. Neil is now on the faculty at the University of British Columbia, which is not in Britain, nor Colombia, but in Vancouver, Canada:
The History Department welcomes new faculty member Neil Safier, who will arrive on campus in January 2008. Assistant Professor Safier received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 2004 and his dissertation title is “Writing the Andes, Reading the Amazon: Voyages of Exploration and the Itineraries of Scientific Knowledge in the Eighteenth Century.” Currently, Safier holds an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities, Penn Humanities Forum, University of Pennsylvania. His research coalesces around three interrelated topics: geography and exploration, historical investigations into nature and the natural world, and imperial contact and exchange. By taking an anthropological approach to the study of travel and cultural encounter, Safier emphasizes the social and material practices that he believes are central to understanding how knowledge circulates within communities as well as between continents. Safier considers himself fundamentally a scholar of European history, but his work also emphasizes the cultural and geographical connections between Europe and the non-European world.
Dr. Safier's book, Measuring the New World: Enlightenment Science and South America is published by Chicago University Press and will be available in 2008.