A native of Argentina, I studied at the University of California at Berkeley with Tulio Halperin Donghi, Margaret Chowning, Jan de Vries and Carla Hesse. I work in the region where social, economic and environmental history intersect with the history of technology. Although my area of specialization is Colonial Latin America, most of the questions I ask force me to think and write comparatively, and to delve into the role of human interactions with the material world of dirt, plants, animals and energy through work and everyday objects in broad historical processes.
I work this way because I believe that history has the potential to provide living experiments about the prospects for policies and projects of all sorts. Few if any impact reports or predictions based on the study of current behaviors can match this. Despite the urgent civilizational problems posed by environmental and social crises brewing all over the planet, this potential is largely being wasted, putting the practice and teaching of history at risk of being seen as increasingly irrelevant. These are the concerns that drive my research and my pedagogical approach.