Beatriz Véliz Argueta

Stipendiatin (Centre for Transcultural Studies / Perthes Collection)


Schloss Friedenstein, Pagenhaus, Raum 2.06

Visiting address

Forschungskolleg Transkulturelle Studien / Sammlung Perthes
Schloss Friedenstein – Pagenhaus
Schlossplatz 1
99867 Gotha

Beatriz Véliz Argueta


Beatriz Véliz Argueta is an interdisciplinary scholar and photographer interested in urban and spatial history. Her work explores landscape and the construction of place in XVIII and XIX century Guatemala. As a researcher of cross-cultural encounters, she is passionate about multi-archival research and multi-linguistic projects that place Guatemalan history in the context of its interactions with the wider world.

Véliz Argueta is Postdoctoral Researcher at the Forschungskolleg Transkulturelle Studien/ Sammlung Perthes, Universität Erfurt, Germany. Previously, she was Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the College of Arts and Architecture at Penn State University and Visiting Fellow at the Center for Urban and Community Research (CUCR), Goldsmiths, University of London, where she co-founded the international Urban Photography Summer School (iUPPS). 

PhD Humboldt Universität zu Berlin

MA Global Studies, Freiburg (Germany) University of Kwazulu-Natal (South Africa) and Jawaharlal Nehru University (India)

Research interests

  • construction of place (people and space)
  • cross-cultural encounters
  • colonial, postcolonial, decolonial theory
  • urban and spatial theory
  • built environment and vernacular architecture
  • visual, material and photographic theory and practice
  • interdisciplinary and experimental research
  • multi-archival research projects

Research project

Bifurcated cartographies. Mapping Central America in the early Nineteenth Century. A cross-continental reading

In the early XIX century two mapping projects on opposite sides of the world started taking shape. One, led by Adolf Stieler in Gotha (Germany), with the ambition to map the whole world in a single work: the Hand-Atlas über alle Theile der Erde (1816 – 1831). The other, with more modest goals, attempting to define the contours of a newly independent nation in Central America: Atlas Guatemalteco (1831).

During that period Central America underwent profound changes shifting its political boundaries in an endless battle over people and territory. Bifurcated cartographies (BC) seeks to shed light into this process from a map-making cross continental reading. It examines the representation of Guatemala, and Central America, from a foreign and a native perspective. It seeks to highlight the cartographic making of the Other and the centrality of the cartographer as a spatio/ temporal translator in this process. Furthermore, the project aims to contribute to the understanding of maps as Objektbiographien and its influence in the forging of new imagined communities.

Image: America. Stielers Hand-Atlas No 41 (1816) © Collecting Perthes.

Selected Presentations

2022 (forthcoming)
“Mapping the Other: the cartographer as a spatio/temporal translator in early XIX century German cartography”. The International Society for the History of the Map, 12 – 13 May, 2022, Montevideo.

On Postcolonial practices and Decolonizing strategies. An introduction to A Global Dialogue” A Global Dialogue on the Everyday Production of the Postcolonial World and its Others, 10 – 12 May 2017, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Berlin.

“Reflections on Memory, Spaces of Conflict and Representation”, Introductory Lecture. “Memory, Photography and Place Symposium”. Centro de Informação Urbana de Lisboa (CIUL), Lisbon. 29 -31 January 2016.


  • Entangled Urban Narratives: The Making of Informal Colonial and Postcolonial Guatemala City. (forthcoming)
  • “The European Union and Central America: Negotiating an Interregional Agreement” Working Paper Series on      Comparative Regional Integration Studies. United Nations University (2008).
  • “SICA's Interstate Bargaining: A Field trip” Regional Integration Observer, Vol. 2, No. 1, Zentrum für Europäische Integrationsforschung (ZEI) (2008).
  • “Benefits and Risks of an Association Agreement between the EU and SICA” in Global Voices on Regional     Integration, eds. Ariane Kösler and Martin Zimmek, Zentrum für Europäische Integrationsforschung (ZEI) C 176, 2007, 193 – 202.