Olin Moctezuma Burns

Olin Moctezuma Burns

  • Scholar
  • United Kingdom
  • 2020 PhD History & Philosophy of Science
  • Pembroke College

I am passionate about archival research and aspire to a career as a historian of science who closely examines local contexts and everyday practices, paying special attention to untapped sources of historical evidence. My doctoral research explores how lists were written in early modernity to amass, process, and communicate information about plants. Focusing on manuscript lists within ordinary settings, such as the garden and the kitchen, and then exploring how lists underpinned global networks of exchange, I trace the impact of this simple technology on the way natural knowledge is represented, analysed, and utilised, and will contribute to an understanding on how technology can shift our relationship with nature. These interests emerged while I was studying an English BA in the UNAM and were consolidated during my Early Modern Studies MA at UCL. Nevertheless, the seeds were planted when I was growing up in rural Mexico. Having witnessed educational inequality, I am committed to addressing this issue by exploring the role of archives and digital technologies in bridging disparity, in allowing marginalised communities to reclaim repositories, and in nourishing and disseminating alternative modes of knowledge production.

Previous Education

University College London Early Modern Studies 2019
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico English Language and lit. 2017