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Grant number like: FA-54688-09

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Nancy P. Appelbaum
SUNY Research Foundation, Binghamton (Binghamton, NY 13902-4400)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products][Media coverage][Prizes]

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

Grant period:
9/1/2009 – 8/31/2010

Mapping the "Country of Regions": Agustin Codazzi and the 19th-Century Colombian Chorographic Commission

Book manuscript on the Chorographic Commission, a geographic expedition in Colombia led by Agustin Codazzi throughout the 1850s. The book will analyze the Commission's maps, images, and documents as well as the fieldwork processes that produced these materials. I argue that a fundamental tension existed between the racial diversity that the Commission encountered in its fieldwork and the national unity for which its members yearned. The Commission attempted to resolve this apparent contradiction by portraying the nation as undergoing a beneficial process of racial mixture that absorbed ostensibly lesser races. In its texts and visual materials, the Chorographic Commission characterized some regions of the nation as "civilized" and others as "backward" based on the degree of racial mixture along with factors such as climate and economics. The Commission thus attributed national progress with race mixing while at the same time it reinforced racial and social inequalities.