Personal Details

Full Name: Dr Helen Louise Cowie

Date of Birth: 27/12/1981

Address: 51,

Charter Avenue, Coventry, CV4 8EJ

Telephone: 07759834412

Email: or


Current Status:

I have just completed my PhD in history at the University of Warwick. My research focuses on the development of the natural sciences in the Hispanic world in the years 1750-1870. I study the acquisition, formation and dissemination of scientific knowledge in a variety of settings, ranging from the metropolis to the periphery and the field to the museum. My research expands upon existing studies of scientific expeditions in 18th century Spain by tracing the evolution of natural history beyond South American independence. It also devotes greater attention to the cultural context of the expeditions, to the strategies for social and professional credibility adopted by naturalists and to the contributions made by Creoles and indigenous people to the production of natural knowledge. My supervisor is Professor Anthony McFarlane and my current research is funded by a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.




University of Warwick (2000-2008)

PhD in History My PhD dissertation was entitled ‘Colonizing Science: Nature and Nations in the Spanish World’. I submitted it in December 2007 and had my viva on 14/03/2008.

MA in The History of Race in the Americas (Distinction) My MA dissertation focused on conceptions of racial difference in nineteenth-century Argentina.

BA History (1st Class Honours)


Prince William School, Oundle, 1995-2000


3 A’ Levels: History (A), and History Special Paper (1); Spanish (A); English Literature (A)

9 GCSEs: Maths (A*); English Language (A*); English Literature (A*); History (A*); Spanish (A*); French (A*); Double Science (Double A*); Music (A*)


Italian Andvanced Level (Gained at The University of Warwick Language Centre)


Research Experience:


Papers delivered:




Music: My principal external interest is music. I play the clarinet, recorder and piano, and have attained the following qualifications:

Grade 8 Clarinet (Distinction)

Grade 8 Recorder (Distinction)

Recorder Performer’s Certificate

Grade 5 Music Theory (Distinction)

Languages: I also enjoy learning languages. I speak Spanish, French and Italian, and am currently taking classes in Spanish and Italian at the University of Warwick Language Centre. I have achieved a certificate in Italian, Advanced Level.