Professor Patience Schell

Professor Patience Schell
Professor Patience Schell

Professor Patience Schell

Chair in Hispanic Studies

Accepting PhDs

About

Hispanic Studies School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture Taylor Building University of Aberdeen AB24 3UB

Biography

I studied history at the University of California, Berkeley before completing my DPhil in history at St Antony’s College, Oxford University.  I then worked at Birkbeck College, University of London and the University of Manchester before starting at the University of Aberdeen in the autumn of 2012.

Memberships and Affiliations

Internal Memberships

School Impact lead

External Memberships

Current:

Journal of Latin American Studies, co-editor

Standing Conference of Latin American Studies in the UK, Chair

Society for Latin American Studies, Past President

Previously:

External Examiner, University of Kent, Department of Hispanic Studies, Taught MA programmes

External Examiner, University of Lancaster, Department of European Languages and Cultures, BA and MA programmes (Spanish)

External Examiner, Institute for the Study of the Americas, MA programmes

Latest Publications

  • Natural History Values and Meanings in Nineteenth-Century Chile

    Schell, P. A.
    Notes & Records of the Royal Society of London, vol. 73, no. 1, pp. 101-124
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Book Reviews - Alberto Harambour, Un viaje a las colonias: Memorias y diario de un ovejero escocés en Malvinas, Patagonia y Tierra del Fuego (1878–1898): Santiago de Chile: Ediciones de la Dirección de Bibliotecas, Archivos y Museos and Centro de Investigaciones Diego Barros Arana, 2016), pp. 176, pb

    Schell, P. A.
    Journal of Latin American Studies, vol. 50, no. 4, pp. 1001-1002
    Contributions to Journals: Reviews of Books, Films and Articles
  • El Cultivo de una cultura chilena de historia natural, siglo XIX

    Schell, P. A.
    La movilidad del saber cientifico en America Latina. Sanhueza Cerda, C. (ed.). Editorial Universitaria, pp. 99-125, 26 pages
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters (Peer-Reviewed)
  • Understanding Field Science Institutions

    Ekerholm, H. (ed.), Grandin, K. (ed.), Nordlund., C. (ed.), Schell, P. A. (ed.)
    Science History Publications/USA, Sagamore Beach, MA. 358 pages
    Books and Reports: Books
  • James Trail and Nineteenth-Century Amazonian Field Science

    Schell, P. A.
    Understanding Field Science Institutions. Ekerholm, H., Grandin, K., Nordlund, C., Schell, P. A. (eds.). Science History Publications/USA, pp. 99-131, 33 pages
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters (Peer-Reviewed)

View My Publications

Prizes and Awards

Principal's Excellence Prize in Teaching, runner up, 2019-2020 'Chilean Arpilleras as an assessment method'

Excellence in Teaching, nominee, 2016-2017

Research

Research Overview

My research largely focuses on two Latin American countries in two different centuries: nineteenth-century Chile and twentieth-century Mexico (publications may be found under the 'further information' tab), addressing the history of education, social history, cultural history, history of science and eugenics, history of museums and exploration.  I am happy to supervise postgraduate research on topics concerned with the cultural and social history of Latin America, especially in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Of particular interest to me are topics related to themes of gender, including women’s history and masculinity; history of science, eugenics, exploration and museums; cultural history; history of education (widely understood); and the history of friendship and other ties that bind.

 

Cover of The Sociable Sciences: Darwin and His Contemporaries in Chile

 

Research Areas

Accepting PhDs

I am currently accepting PhDs in Spanish and Latin American Studies, History.


Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your research ideas further.

Email Me

Spanish and Latin American Studies

Supervising
Accepting PhDs

History

Supervising
Accepting PhDs

Research Specialisms

  • History of Science
  • Latin American History
  • Latin American Studies
  • Latin American Society and Culture Studies

Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.

Current Research

I am working on a monograph on the Manual de urbanidad (1853) by Venezuelan Manuel Antonio Carreño.  Despite its venerable age, this etiquette guide remains relevant to Spanish American popular culture through updated editions, YouTube parodies and chatshow discussions. The prevalance of Carreño’s Manual, in popular culture and new versions, is because, in the Spanish-speaking world, this text was a nineteenth-century publishing and reading phenomenon, which continued to find new relevance in subsequent periods. This guide was read by individuals, adopted by school systems and became the yardstick of appropriate social intercourse. Despite its impact, there is little scholarly research on the guide's reception, adoption and adaptation in Spanish America since its publication. An initial part of this project has been the development of a prototype website. Further work on the website is planned and it will feature in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History as a digital resource.

Additionally, I am working on the links between Aberdeen, the university, the city and the shire, and Latin American using the university's museum and archival collections. At the moment, my research focuses on two figures. James Trail was the university's professor of botany, from 1876, but previously spend 18 months as part of an Amazonian survey. I am investigating his time in the Amazon and his life.  I am also studying the collecting and work of John McPherson, an Aberdeen medical graduate, who emigrated to Mexico around 1903 and spend most of his life there, working as a doctor for the Compañía Mexicana de Petróleo El Águila (Mexican Eagle Petroleum Corporation) and later working privately. Both Trail and McPherson were donors to the university museums collections.

Past Research

My first book, Church and State Education in Revolutionary Mexico City (2003) examines how, in the immediate postrevolutionary period, despite efforts to subordinate church to state and push the church out of public life, state and church shared a concern for the nation's social problems. Until the breakdown of church-state cooperation in 1926, they ignored the political chasm separating them to address those problems through education in order to instill in citizens a new sense of patriotism, a strong work ethic, and adherence to traditional gender roles. This book examines primary, vocational, private, and parochial education in Mexico City from 1917 to 1926 and shows how it was affected by the relations between the revolutionary state and the Roman Catholic Church.  Finding common cause between revolutionary state education and Catholic tradition, it provides new insight into the wider issue of the relationship between the revolutionary state and civil society. It also shows how, at the grassroots level, students took opportunities that both church and state offered to make education what they wanted.

My second book, The Sociable Sciences: Darwin and his Contemporaries in Chile (2013) looks at how natural history knowledge, practice and institutions in nineteenth-century Chile developed in large part thanks to the relationships, the friendships among the practitioners. This book studies how the social networks, of Chileans and foreigners, were key to the creation and circulation of knowledge, in a period when formal institutions for the study of natural history were themselves in formation.  It is a gossipy history of natural history in Chile.

Other publications:

Edited volumes

Understanding Field Science Institutions. Volume co-edited with Helena Ekerholm, Karl Grandin and Christer Nordlund. Science History Publications, in press.

New Approaches to Resistance in Brazil and Mexico. Volume co-edited with John Gledhill. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2012.

The Women's Revolution in Mexico, 1910-1953. Volume co-edited with Stephanie Mitchell. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2007.

 

Articles, Book Chapters and REFERENCE WORK

'Natural History, Exploration, and Landscape in 19th-Century Chile'. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History. Oxford University Press, 2014—. Article published May 26, 2021. doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780199366439.013.467.

‘Natural History Values and Meanings in Nineteenth-Century Chile’. Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London, Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London, 73 (2019), doi 10.1098/rsnr.2017.0051.

‘James Trail and Nineteenth-Century Amazonian Field Science’. In Understanding Field Science Institutions, Helena Ekerholm, Karl Grandin, Christer Nordlund and Patience Schell (eds.). Sagamore Beach, MD: Science History Publications/USA, 2017.

‘El Cultivo de una cultura chilena de historia natural, siglo XIX’. In La movilidad del saber en América Latina: Objetos, prácticas e instituciones (siglos XVIII al XX), Carlos Sanhueza (ed.). Santiago: Editorial Universitaria, 2018.

‘Eugenics in the Americas’. In International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition, Vol 8, James D. Wright (editor-in-chief). Oxford: Elsevier, 2015.

'Idols, Altars, Slippers, and Stockings: Heritage Debates and Displays in Nineteenth-Century Chile', Past & Present 226:1 (2015): 326-348. doi: 10.1093/pastj/gtu029

'Gender, Resistance and Mexico’s Church-State Conflict'. In New Approaches to Resistance in Brazil and Mexico, John Gledhill and Patience A. Schell (eds.). Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2012.

'Eugenics Policy and Practice in Cuba, Puerto Rico and Mexico'. In The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics, Alison Bashford and Philippa Levine (eds.). Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. (Volume Awarded the 2011 Cantemir Prize. Paperback edition, 2012)

'Beauty and Bounty in Che's Chile'. In Che's Travels: The Making of a Revolutionary in 1950s Latin America, Paulo Drinot (ed.). Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2010.Che's Travels

 'Museos, exposiciones y la muestra de lo chileno en el siglo XIX'. In Nación y nacionalismo en Chile. Siglo XIX, Gabriel Cid Rodríguez and Alejandro San Francisco (eds.). Santiago de Chile: Centro de Estudios Bicentenario, 2009. Nacion y nacionalismo en Chile

'Social Catholicism, Modern Consumption and the Culture Wars in Postrevolutionary Mexico City', History Compass 5 (July 2007).

'Gender and Anxiety at the Gabriela Mistral Vocational School, in Revolutionary Mexico City'. In Sex in Revolution: Gender, Politics, and Power in Modern Mexico, Jocelyn Olcott, Mary Kay Vaughan and Gabriela Cano (eds.). Durham: Duke University Press, 2006. (Volume translated as Género, poder y política en el México posrevolucionario. México, D.F.: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2010).Sex in revolution

'Las mujeres del catolicismo social, 1912-1926'. In Catolicismo social en México, tomo II, Las instituciones del catolicismo social, Manuel Ceballos Ramírez and Alejandro Garza Rangel (eds.). Monterrey, México: La Academia de Investigación Humanística, 2005.

'Entre la libertad y el control: Política educativa mexicana y reacciones desde el Porfiriato hasta la Revolución'.  In Instituciones y formas de control social en América Latina, 1880-1940. Una revisión, Ernesto Bohoslavsky and María Silvia Di Liscia (eds.). Buenos Aires: Edulpam-Editorial de la UNGS, 2005.

'Nationalizing Children through Schools and Hygiene: Porfirian and Revolutionary Mexico City', The Americas 60:4 (April 2004): 559-87.

Knowledge Exchange

Curator, ‘Sewing Resistance: Teaching through Chilean Textile Art’, Sir Duncan Rice   Library, October 2019 – November 2020. Featured in the Evening Express (https://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/fp/news/local/colourful-crafting-exhibition-opens-in-aberdeen/ and http://womenshistoryscotland.org/category/out-gallivanting/)

Co-Curator of the King's Museum (University Museums, University of Aberdeen) exhibition, 'Aberdonians in the Americas: Migrants and Adventurers from Mexico to Paraguay', 2017

Panelist at the 2015 'Festival of Politics' (Edinburgh), 'How Has Latin America Influenced the USA?', 16 August 2015

Guest on 'In Our Time', Radio 4 and BBC World Service, 'Frida Kahlo', 9 July 2015

Interviewed for 'Earthquakes, tusnamis and a naked tribe. It's Chile – and not just the Galápagos – that inspired Darwin' John Mulholland, The Observer Tech Monthly, 11 January, 2015.

Featured in 'New Year’s Resolutions  – for Others to Keep' Times Higher Education, 1 January 2015

Reviews in 'Times Higher Education’s Books of 2014', 18 December, 2014

'Mexico' in 'Around the World, A Global Eugenics Project'. This page is part of 'The Eugenics Archive: What Sorts of People Should There Be?'

'Clocking off', Times Higher Education, 7 August, 2014, No. 2,164 (available as 'Work Less, Do more, Live Better', featured in the Times Higher Education twenty most read articles of 2014)

Guest on 'Woman's Hour', Radio 4, 'Women in the Mexican Revolution', 11 February 2011

Guest on 'In Our Time', Radio 4 and BBC World Service, 'The Mexican Revolution of 1910', 20 January 2011

'The Mexican Revolution, 1910-2010: Historical and Cultural Perspectives' Symposium, the British Academy, London. Lecture, 'The Revolution and Women', 17 November 2010

Guest on BBC Radio Manchester 'Breakfast' programme, interviewed by Allan Beswick about Charles Darwin in Chile, 10 August 2010; also available through BBC America

'In Darwin's Footsteps' Exhibition, Manchester Museum. Exhibition talk, 20 January 2010

'Revolution on Paper' Exhibition, British Museum, London. Lunchtime lecture, 'Soldaderas, Modern Girls and Catholic Ladies: Mexican Women 1900–1950', 20 November 2009 'William Wilson: Life in a Botanical Community' and 'A Brief Biography of Philip Pearsall Carpenter: Shell Expert, Swimming Instructor and Social Reformer'.  Papers researched and written for the Warrington Museum and Art Gallery exhibition, 'Natural Curiosity' (2 December 2006–11 May 2007), held in collaboration with the Natural History Museum, London

Supervision

My current supervision areas are: Spanish and Latin American Studies, History.

Current PhD Students

  • Sue Bremner, 'Scots in Peru, 1800 - 1930: An Overlooked Corner of the Scottish Diaspora' (co-supervision with Prof. Marjory Harper)
  • Carol Gare, 'Paternalism, Philanthropy and Profit.  Rio Tinto social welfare and municipal benefits 1873-1931'
  • Silvije Habulinec, 'Becoming and being a Mountaineer in the 1850s and 1860s' (co-supervised with Dr Ben Marsden)
  • Matthew Lee, 'Private Reflections and Public Pronouncements: Caribbean Slavery in the Scottish Consciousness, c.1750-1834' (co-supervision with Prof. Catherine Jones)

Previous PhD students

  • Sandra Aguilar Rodríguez, Moravian College
  • Sarah Bowskill, Queen's University Belfast
  • Claudia Marqués-Martin, Glasgow University
  • Hilary Francis, Northumbria University
  • Alejandra Isaza Velásquez, Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana
  • James Scorer, University of Manchester

 

Funding and Grants

I have received funding from the British Academy, the AHRC and the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland.

Teaching

Teaching Responsibilities

Level 1

  • Encountering the Other in Iberia and the Americas

Level 2

  • Latin America: Texts and Contexts

Honours courses

  • Revolutionary Creativity and American Inspiration
  • Ploughing the Sea: Spain and Spain America, 1750-1990
  • Women Making History: Mexico and Chile in the Twentieth Century
  • Chronicles of Spanish America

Teaching Awards

  • Principal’s Teaching Excellence Award, runner up, 2020
  • Undergraduate Nominee, Excellence in Teaching Award, 2016-2017
Publications

Page 1 of 2 Results 1 to 10 of 13

  • Natural History Values and Meanings in Nineteenth-Century Chile

    Schell, P. A.
    Notes & Records of the Royal Society of London, vol. 73, no. 1, pp. 101-124
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Book Reviews - Alberto Harambour, Un viaje a las colonias: Memorias y diario de un ovejero escocés en Malvinas, Patagonia y Tierra del Fuego (1878–1898): Santiago de Chile: Ediciones de la Dirección de Bibliotecas, Archivos y Museos and Centro de Investigaciones Diego Barros Arana, 2016), pp. 176, pb

    Schell, P. A.
    Journal of Latin American Studies, vol. 50, no. 4, pp. 1001-1002
    Contributions to Journals: Reviews of Books, Films and Articles
  • El Cultivo de una cultura chilena de historia natural, siglo XIX

    Schell, P. A.
    La movilidad del saber cientifico en America Latina. Sanhueza Cerda, C. (ed.). Editorial Universitaria, pp. 99-125, 26 pages
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters (Peer-Reviewed)
  • Understanding Field Science Institutions

    Ekerholm, H. (ed.), Grandin, K. (ed.), Nordlund., C. (ed.), Schell, P. A. (ed.)
    Science History Publications/USA, Sagamore Beach, MA. 358 pages
    Books and Reports: Books
  • James Trail and Nineteenth-Century Amazonian Field Science

    Schell, P. A.
    Understanding Field Science Institutions. Ekerholm, H., Grandin, K., Nordlund, C., Schell, P. A. (eds.). Science History Publications/USA, pp. 99-131, 33 pages
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters (Peer-Reviewed)
  • Concluding Remarks

    Schell, P. A.
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Forewords and Postscripts
  • Introduction

    Ekerholm, H., Grandin, K., Nordlund., C., Schell, P. A.
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Forewords and Postscripts
  • Idols, Altars, Slippers, and Stockings: Heritage Debates and Displays in Nineteenth-Century Chile

    Schell, P. A.
    Past and Present, vol. 226, no. Suppl. 10, pp. 326-348
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Eugenics in the Americas

    Schell, P. A.
    International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences. 2 edition. Elsevier Inc., pp. 246-252, 7 pages
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
  • The Sociable Sciences: Darwin and His Contemporaries in Chile

    Schell, P. A.
    Palgrave Macmillan, New York. 312 pages
    Books and Reports: Books

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