The commemoration: Humboldt 250 and UVA 200 anniversary
An Event Open to All: Scholars, Students and Community

On the occasion of the celebration of Humboldt’s 250th anniversary in 2019, the University of Virginia as one of many leading scientific and cultural institutions around the world joined to organise the Humboldt Year 2019.

This symposium aims to analyze Humboldt's impact on the launching of modern American science, starting with his visit to the United States, extending in time through the 19th century, and in space across the growing nation with the westward expansion. The key question is how his six-week exploration of a geographically limited part of the East Coast gave rise to his unprecedented influence.

The symposium proposes to evaluate Humboldt as a key figure in the globalization of American science throughout the 19th century and to discuss the different ways in which he was critically involved in the scientific exploration of the West, one of the crucial interests of Thomas Jefferson as advocate for Western expansion.

Given the close ties between both personalities, and the fact that they discussed topics related to the opening of the West during their meeting in 1804 as well as during their correspondence over the next two decades, these geographic and historic coincidences make the University of Virginia an ideal location for this symposium.

This event is organized by Sandra Rebok, Invited Historian of Science; Alan Taylor, Thomas Jefferson Foundation Chair, Ricardo Padron, Associate Professor of Spanish, and Miguel A Valladares Llata, Global Studies librarian.

It is sponsored by the Institute of Humanities and Global Cultures (IHGC), Buckner W. Clay Endowment for the Humanities, The Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese, The Department of History, and University of Virginia Libraries.