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Beyond Imported Magic

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At one level the term 'beyond imported magic' situates this collection as a contribution to the critique of the traditional North-South diffusionist stories of science and technology, but at another level the essays take the reader beyond the 'imported magic' of Northern theories of STS. By connecting us with the reflexive and critical voices of Latin American STS scholarship, this book is a great introduction to contemporary modes of rethinking STS from Latin American perspectives. -- David J. Hess, Sociology, Vanderbilt University This astonishing collection provides for both science and technology studies and postcolonial students and scholars valuable new pathways for thinking and illuminatingly different conceptual approaches. These authors usher in a much-needed expansive era for historians, philosophers, sociologists, political theorists, and ethnographers of science as well as for readers in other fields. I can't wait to teach it. -- Sandra Harding, Distinguished Professor, Departments of Education and Gender Studies, University of California, Los Angeles; Distinguished Affiliate Professor, Department of Philosophy, Michigan State University; and author of Sciences from Below In this enchanting book, leading scholars conjure up surprising and gripping new configurations of science and technology in Latin America. These essays reveal brilliantly how local and regional histories haunt so-called global scientific projects. Beyond Imported Magic brings Latin America into contemporary conversations about what makes technoscience appear so worldly and cosmopolitan, even as it is experienced as situated and place-bound in practice. This book will cast a spell on anyone who wants to understand the multiple ways in which we try, and often fail, to be both modern and global. -- Warwick Anderson, University of Sydney, author of The Collectors of Lost Souls This exciting and thought-provoking volume shows how analyzing Latin America through an STS lens allows us to peer more closely at known histories and uncover new and in some cases existing but understudied connections. Once we divest ourselves of outdated adjectives such as 'peripheral' to explain the role of Latin America in science we invariably begin to see the region as a center with a long history of scientific production and with the many complexities that this entails. By placing Latin America into longer narratives of (redefined or reemphasized) scientific research, the authors crucially demonstrate science as ever-present and not a relatively new, imported phenomena of the nineteenth/twentieth centuries. -- Gabriela Soto Laveaga, author of Jungle Laboratories: Mexican Peasants, National Projects, and the Making of the Pill

About the Author

Eden Medina is Associate Professor of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University Bloomington and the author of Cybernetic Revolutionaries: Technology and Politics in Allende's Chile. Ivan da Costa Marques is Associate Professor in the graduate school of Historia das Ciencias e das Tecnicas e Epistemologia (HCTE) at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro. Christina Holmes is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Anthropology at St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia.


As a former Maya archaeologist and science historian, this reviewer was always looking for a text such as this! The contributions to scholarship by these editors and contributors help break down the Anglocentrism in the history and sociology of science and technology... Highly recommended. * Choice *

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