History Department Faculty

María de los Ángeles Picone

Assistant Professor

Department

History

Biography

I am a historian of Modern Latin America specializing in the southern cone. I am interested in the intersection of nature and nation-making in border regions. Particularly, I am drawn to questions on how people experience a shared sense of community through their spatial practices.

My current book project, Landscaping Patagonia: A Spatial and Environmental History of Nation-Making in the Chilean-Argentine Borderlands, examines how explorers, migrants, authorities, and visitors constructed their versions of "Chile" and "Argentina" in the Northern Patagonian Andes. I argue that between the 1890s and the 1940s, these groups created shared versions of nationhood through regional, often cross-border, interpretations and transformations of the natural environment. This study shows how different actors—namely explorers, settlers, authorities, visitors, and bandits—sought to make Patagonia their own by transforming a collection of geographical sites into a landscape that evoked a shared past and a common future.

At Boston College, I teach courses on modern Latin America, spatial history, and borderlands. Additionally, I am affiliated with the Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities. My teaching frequently includes unessay assignments and digital projects, from board games to websites.

For the fall of 2022, I was also a visiting scholar at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University.