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Beyond Imported MagicEssays on Science, Technology, and Society in Latin America$
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Eden Medina, Ivan da Costa Marques, and Christina Holmes

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027458

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027458.001.0001

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Latin America as Laboratory: The Camera and the Yale PeruvianExpeditions

Latin America as Laboratory: The Camera and the Yale PeruvianExpeditions

(p.245) 12 Latin America as Laboratory: The Camera and the Yale PeruvianExpeditions
Beyond Imported Magic

Amy Cox Hall

The MIT Press

Cox Hall details the origins of the photographs of Machu Picchu, particularly the foldout panoramic, that appeared in National Geographic’s now iconic 1913 issue “In the Wonderland of Peru.” The photographs were taken as part of an expedition sponsored by Yale University during a period in which the camera was viewed as a scientific instrument that could capture data objectively. Cox Hall, however, details how the use of the camera during the expedition was a negotiated and disciplined practice. As such, presenting Machu Picchu as a lost civilization that had been discovered by the Yale expedition involved a particular configuration of human and nonhuman actors and practices that presumably stabilized the facts created by the expedition.

Keywords:   camera, inscription devices, photography, expeditionary science, National Geographic, Machu Picchu, Peru

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