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Diana Heredia-López


Plant Humanities Summer Program

Heredia-López’s dissertation project focuses on cochineal trading networks in early colonial Mexico. She examines the social and material culture transformations that Central and Southern Mexico communities underwent as they became embedded in early modern global commerce. The obtention of this highly specialized insect crop entailed establishing commercial relations with indigenous traders and producers, a process distinct from silver production but also quite profitable. By integrating the histories of dye producers, intermediaries, and merchants into the Atlantic world, she seeks to expand current understandings of early modern consumption and its ties to knowledge production.

Diana Heredia-López is PhD candidate in the Department of History at the University of Texas at Austin. She holds a BSc in biology from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Her interests revolve around how humans have studied nature and made use of it. This theme is particularly relevant for her since Latin America is usually seen as a site for extraction of natural resources and a place to find exotic plants and animals. Upon starting her graduate studies, she has explored different methodologies to incorporate new voices into global histories of science, commerce, and consumption.