A headshot of Renée Raphael in front of Murray Krieger Hall

Renée Raphael, associate professor of history, has been awarded a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award to Spain for the 2022-2023 academic year. The Fulbright Program is an international educational exchange program of the U.S. government operating in 160 countries worldwide. It was created to “build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.”

“Extended research time in archives and rare book libraries is so important for historical scholarship,” said Raphael, whose work deals with the early modern history of science and technology, history of the book and its readers, and history of archives and bureaucracy. “The Fulbright award is especially crucial to me as an associate professor with teaching and service obligations on campus, following the COVID pandemic and embarking on a second project that involves a subject matter, geographical area and chronological period distinct from my first book.”

Raphael’s first book, Reading Galileo: Scribal Technologies and the Two New Sciences, offered a fresh interpretation on Galileo’s final published work. Now, the scholar is turning her attention to the early modern Spanish empire in her book project, Mining Rationalities: Geo-Resources and the Early Modern Iberian State, which explores how historical actors in the early modern Iberian world understood the relationship between technology, humans and nature. Mining Rationalities interrogates how officials and private individuals evaluated new technologies, determined the fate of coerced laborers and assessed resource limitations on mining enterprises. It puts their practical deliberations, preserved in archival documents, in dialogue with contemporary legal and political treatises. 

“I look forward to examining documents and rare books in major Spanish archival depositories and libraries in Seville, Madrid and Simancas, as well as making connections with local scholars,” she said.