Article ID: CBB599372349

The world’s fairs as spaces of global knowledge: Latin American archaeology and anthropology in the age of exhibitions (2018)


At the end of the nineteenth century, Brazil, Mexico, and Peru were among the countries participating in the most important world’s fairs in Europe and North America. These mass gatherings focused on national self-images as well as technological development and commodities, but the Latin American exhibition organizers also understood them to be transnational spaces that contributed to the mobility of persons, objects, and knowledge. In this context, the scientific display of pre-Columbian ‘antiquities’ was regarded as being as important as the participation in archaeological and anthropological congresses. By understanding the world’s fairs as ‘spaces of global knowledge’, this article highlights the agency of Latin American scientists, intellectuals, and collectors in the transnational endeavour to create a ‘Latin American antiquity’ at the fairgrounds. Although most fair attendees sought to study and display the pre-Columbian past in an objective manner, the older dream of (re-)constructing the splendour of America’s ancient civilizations never completely vanished.

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Authors & Contributors
Armus, Diego C.
López-Beltrán, Carlos
Santos, Ricardo Ventura
Wade, Peter
Achim, Miruna
Almeida, Marta de
História, Ciências, Saúde---Manguinhos
Bulletin of the History of Archaeology
Journal of Global History
Social Studies of Science
Medicina Historica
Duke University Press
Editora Fiocruz
Lugar Editorial
MIT Press
Palgrave Macmillan
Cross-national interaction
National identity
Science and society
Bingham, Hiram, III
Chagas, Carlos
Humboldt, Alexander von
Jiménez de la Espada, Marcos
Nuñez Butrón, Manuel
Time Periods
19th century
20th century
20th century, early
18th century
Latin America
Rockefeller Foundation
Yale University

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