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PLACA Presents: William Werner

341 Eggers Hall

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Reconstructing a nineteenth-century German colony in Veracruz: Historical and archaeological approaches When Mexico achieved independence from Spain in 1821, its leaders eagerly opened its borders to North American and European emigrants and entrepreneurs in an effort to jump-start its national economy and "whiten" its populace. Among these early arrivals was Carl Christian Sartorius, a young German radical who had been exiled from his native Hesse and who sought to realize his political ideals in a German agricultural colony among the fertile hills and valleys of central Veracruz. His enterprise ultimately became known as the Hacienda El Mirador, one of the most capital-intensive sugar cane and coffee estates in nineteenth-century Mexico.   This dissertation project employs archaeological methods to reconstruct the socioeconomic relationships between the German settlers and neighboring indigenous villages, on whose knowledge and labor the settlers depended for success. It is explained how the artifacts commonly recovered by archaeologists reveals the agency of peoples often omitted from the historical record, and how implementing these methods elucidates El Mirador as a case study in the local effects of the expansion of global capital in post-colonial situations.

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Exterior of Maxwell in black and white when there was no Eggers building

We’re Turning 100!

To mark our centennial in the fall of 2024, the Maxwell School will hold special events and engagement opportunities to celebrate the many ways—across disciplines and borders—our community ever strives to, as the Oath says, “transmit this city not only not less, but greater, better and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.”

Throughout the year leading up to the centennial, engagement opportunities will be held for our diverse, highly accomplished community that now boasts more than 38,500 alumni across the globe.