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David Labastida Rodriguez

David Rodriguez


David Labastida is a third-year Ph.D. candidate at the history department of the University of Toronto, working on a dissertation project about German and Austrian informal imperialism in Latin America in the 19th century. David aims to explore these imperial undertakings through the lenses of science and law. David is currently a fellow at the Berlin Program (2021-2022) of the Freie Universität. He also holds a long-term DAAD stipend to conduct archival research in Germany for his dissertation (2021-2022). David's interests lie at the intersection of science, law, and intellectual history with a transnational focus. David holds an MA degree in European Studies from Yale University and a BA degree in International Relations from Tecnológico de Monterrey. 

"Empires of Nature: Central Europe’s Botanical Imperialism in Brazil and Mexico in the 19th Century "

David's project probes how Prussia, Bavaria, and the Habsburg empire financed scientific expeditions to Brazil and Mexico between 1817 and 1970 with the objective of producing botanical knowledge for medical and commercial purposes. This dissertation seeks to understand the extent to which these scientific endeavors in Latin America produced hybrid botanical and legal knowledge based on intercultural encounters between Europeans and subaltern indigenous agents. 

Reaching the People