Daniela Samur

Graduate Student


I am a historian of modern Latin America and am broadly interested in the relations between culture and power, spatial theory, and in ways of connecting history and fiction. More specifically, in my research I focus on state formation, everyday political practice, urban history, print culture, the relation between space and politics, and the global movement of objects.

Before coming to Cornell, I worked for four years at the Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango (BLAA) in Bogotá, Colombia, curating exhibitions, and leading research projects, and cultural publications.

Research Focus

My dissertation is a social and spatial history of prints in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Bogotá. It explores the relation between prints, the material practices of state formation, and the making of Bogotá as modern urban space. I trace the production, circulation, and consumption of books and prints from the 1880s to the 1930s, and unravel the relation between language, materiality, culture, and power in Colombia.

Based on archival research in Colombia, Spain, the United States, England and France, my dissertation analyzes the labor regimes, and social relations at spaces of the print world in Bogotá, like printing shops, bookstores, and libraries. I focus on the relation between prints and the materiality of political practice, and the role of writing, printing, and reading in the making of modern urban life. By examining the global networks of exchange that shaped the city’s world of books, I contribute to multidisciplinary conversations on the geographical hierarchies of state and region formation in the Andes, Latin America, and the wider Global South.

At Cornell, I work with Ray Craib, Ernesto Bassi, and Eric Tagliacozzo.

My research and writing have been supported by Cornell’s various programs and offices (History Department, Graduate School, Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program, Institute of European Studies, Society for the Humanities), by the Bibliographical Society of America, and the Global Urban History Project. In 2021 I received the Deanne Gebell Gitner ’66 and Family Annual Prize for Teaching Assistants. In the spring of 2023, I will be offering a seminar on the relation between language and power in cities in the Americas.


Book reviews

Review of Arbaiza, Diana, The Spirit of Hispanism: Commerce, Culture, and Identity across the Atlantic, 1875-1936. H-Atlantic, H-Net Reviews. December 2021. URL: https://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=56934

Exhibition Catalogues

Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango. De toda la gente: 25 años de la Asamblea Nacional Constituyente: exposición itinerante with Ana María Ruiz, Laura Huérfano, and Juan Ignacio Arboleda. Bogotá: Banco de la República, 2016

Courses - Spring 2023