History Department
History Department

Rafael Nieto-Bello

BA in History; BA in Political Science; Minor in Philosophy; Minor in German Language and Culture, Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia

Rafael Nieto-Bello



History of Social Sciences, Intellectual History, History of Science, Latin America, Hispanic America, Early Modern Times, Ethnohistory, Political Thought, Relaciones Geográficas de Indias


Nieto-Bello is a first-year Ph.D. student in the History Department. He holds a BA in Political Science and a BA in History from the Universidad de Los Andes (Bogota, Colombia). He cultivated an early interest in classical social theory, Montaigne's ethics, Marxism, Latin American Thought, and Postcolonial thought.

His current research has focused on the 16-Century Relaciones Geográficas de Indias in the Andes, the Caribbean, and Spain, exploring:

  • Imperial and local interests behind them.
  • Definitions of natural and human "objects of study" to know and describe.
  • Methodologies to claim knowledge and power over these lands.

They also raise valuable historical questions about the particular articulation of these regions to the Hispanic Empire, the imperial ideology of "good government" and "profit" of the New World, the "ethnographic" description of customs of diverse native peoples, and the endeavors of standardizing systematic information.

He has worked in several cataloging processes of the archival heritage of Colombia and Hispanic America:

Rafael took part in creating the Students' virtual journal Menocchio, promoting historical public debates and activism in the Peace Negotiations with the FARC guerrilla. He has also participated in the initiative "Clase a la Casa" (Historias para lo que viene) as a panelist in live streaming events on public history of pandemics and their cultural consequences in medieval and early modern contexts. He has a personal blog (Aforística Transhistórica) on literary, historical, and philosophical brief essays and fiction (in Spanish). 

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