Historian Awarded Fellowship for Three Years of Research

8 December 2023
Time to read
2 min read
head and shoulders of Dr Michael Sauter
Dr Michael Sauter

An associate professor at the University of Suffolk has been awarded a research grant after being selected from more than 200 applications.

Dr Michael Sauter, Associate Professor of History at the university, has been awarded a Major Research Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust, which will allow him to complete a book on the history of libraries in colonial Latin America.

To apply for the fellowship, Dr Sauter had to collect three letters of recommendation and submit a proposal about his work, entitled “Forging Global Minds: Libraries and Ways of Knowing in Colonial Latin America” for review and eventual selection.

As part of his research, he will travel to Seville in Spain, home to El Archivo de las Indias – the archives relating to the history of the Spanish colonial empire.

Dr Sauter said he is relishing the prospect of “being surrounded by old books for the next three years”.

“Every book shipped to New Spain in the colonial period would have gone through Seville, which is why the archives there are so important,” said Dr Sauter.

He will also travel to Córdoba in Argentina, Lima in Peru and Puebla in Mexico because each city is home to an important colonial library.

The most significant of the three is Biblioteca Palaxfoxiana in Puebla, which was founded in 1646 and is the oldest public library in the New World.

Dr Sauter added: “This project began in a book I published in 2019 called The Spatial Reformation, in which I showed how, between 1350 and 1850, European thought and culture were transformed by engagement with certain books on geometry, geography, and astronomy.

“Since I lived in Mexico at the time, I was able to verify that many of the texts I saw as pivotal for European thought’s development were also located in colonial libraries in Latin America, which suggested, in turn, that similar intellectual processes were at work there.

“I will now examine those processes in detail and compare them to what my earlier study found, with an emphasis on identifying Latin American contributions to the rise of a global knowledge base.”


For press enquiries, please contact: press@uos.ac.uk