HCAS People Contact Information

    Fabianinkatu 24 (P.O. Box 4)
    00014 University of Helsinki

    Tel. +358 2 941 21735



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Florencia Quesada Avendaño

Adjunct Professor Latin American Studies, University of Helsinki

Room 247

Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
P.O. Box 4
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki

Tel +358-(0)2941 23504
Email florencia.quesada (AT) helsinki.fi




Research interests

  • Urban cultural history Latin America
  • Violence and Insecurity Central America
  • Sustainable Tourism Central America
  • Contemporary Urban Latin America

Current research

Minervas, modernization, and the transformation of Guatemala City (1870-1930)

The objective of this research is to analyze the first period of modern urban growth in the biggest Central American capital: Guatemala City. The process of modernization will be studied through the new urbanism, changes in the public space, hygienic policies, the construction of modern services and technology and the new social segregation. As part of the urban and cultural change, the work will examine the representations built around the "modern" city, especially through photography and travelogues by European and North American travelers. In theoretical terms, the research analyses space as the main subject. The production and social construction of space are the theoretical starting points of this research. By choosing micro history, as methodological approach, the research aims to show how individual cases can serve to reveal more general phenomena (modernization-modernity) and how the peculiarities reveal codes, forces and processes that shape cultural forms. The relationship between the city, space, and their representation constitute a rich analytical theoretical framework for understanding urban-architectural and socio-political processes how cities are conceptualized in the ethos of modernity and modernization.