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Ernesto B. Capello
Macalester College (St. Paul, MN 55105-1899)
The Economic, Scientific, and Artistic Impact of the 1901-1906 French Geodesic Mission to Ecuador

This fellowship will support the crafting of a book manuscript concerning the Second French Geodesic Mission to Ecuador (1901-1906). While the mission’s measurement of the arc of the equatorial meridian had important scientific implications, my book focuses on the social, artistic, and economic ramifications of the journey. Using underexplored French, American, and Ecuadorian archival sources, I examine the development of a monumental and visual culture inspired by the process of terrestrial triangulation itself. My research also emphasizes the contested nature of this process by considering the contemporary challenges to this process by Catholic intellectuals and indigenous communities. Finally, I trace the development of this commemorative landscape over the course of the twentieth century, including not only the development of an extensive equatorial tourist trade but also the creation of counter-monuments by indigenous and socialist activists.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Latin American History

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2013 – 12/31/2013