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Maria M. Portuondo, M.A., Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Maria M. Portuondo, M.A., Ph.D.

Chair, Department of History of Science and Technology, Johns Hopkins Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

Joint Appointment in History of Medicine

Research Interests: History of medicine; Science; Technology

Background

Dr. Maria Portuondo holds a joint appointment in the history of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She is an associate professor of the history of science and technology at the Johns Hopkins Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

Her research focuses on early modern science and technology in Europe and Latin America. Dr. Portuondo serves as the chair of the Department of History of Science and Technology.

She received her B.S.E.E. from the University of Miami. She earned her M.A. from Florida Atlantic University and her Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins. Dr. Portuondo joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 2008.

Dr. Portuondo worked for 10 years as an electrical engineer before she began her studies in the history of science. Her background in electrical engineering drives her interest in the history of technology.

Her work has been recognized with the 2011 John E. Fagg Prize from the American Historical Association.

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Titles

  • Chair, Department of History of Science and Technology, Johns Hopkins Krieger School of Arts and Sciences
  • Joint Appointment in History of Medicine

Departments / Divisions

Education

Degrees

  • B.S.E.E., University of Miami (Florida) (1984)
  • M.A., Florida Atlantic University (Florida) (1999)
  • Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University (Maryland) (2005)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

The focus of Dr. Portuondo's research is early modern science and technology in Europe and Latin America. Although her study of early modern science falls within the Western European context by focusing on Spain and the Americas, her work goes into subject areas that have until recently received little attention within the traditional narrative of early modern science and of the Scientific Revolution.

To date, she believes her research has contributed towards a broader understanding of scientific practices that took place during the 16th century in the Spanish Empire. However, her research is not limited to an audience solely interested in Spain and its sphere of influence. Her aim has always been to place specific accounts within the broader context of the history of science and technology. Therefore, her writing and teaching also explore a number of general themes in the history of science: epistemological issues of knowledge production, methodological aspects of scientific practice, intellectual history, the role of science in an imperial context and science in the context of territorial exploration.

Activities & Honors

Honors

  • John E. Fagg Prize, American Historical Association, 2011
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