Aleksandra Kaye

Aleksandra is interested in the role that migrants play in the transfer and production of scientific knowledge. In the traditional centre-periphery model, nations that are considered part of the periphery are perceived as passive receivers, dependent on the centre for progress and knowledge. Aleksandra aims to challenge this model by examining the role of Polish migrants and their networks in the transnational circulation of knowledge between two regions typically viewed as peripheral: partitioned Poland and the newly independent Latin American countries of the nineteenth century. In her approach Aleksandra takes inspiration from Digital Humanities and Social Sciences and applies Social Networks Analysis methodology to historical research aiming to develop a more dynamic model of the effects of migration on knowledge creation and transmission.

In her research, Aleksandra intends to address the following questions, amongst others: what scientific knowledge did the migrants possess when they commenced their journeys? What did the migrants do in Latin America and how did that affect their knowledge? Did the presence of the migrants influence the localities in which they settled? Did the knowledge the migrants gained while in Latin America make its way to the partitioned territories and if so, was it influential and affect the wider scientific debates in Europe?

Aleksandra is fluent in Polish and English and reads Italian and Russian. She received generous funding from the UCL Doctoral School to improve her Spanish and Portuguese.


Supervisors: Nicola Miller and Richard Butterwick-Pawlikowski
Working title: 'Mapping the Polish knowledge networks in nineteenth-century Latin America, 1830-1890'
Expected completion date: 2022

Conference papers and presentations

  • Forthcoming (paper accepted): ‘Mapping the Polish Knowledge Networks in Nineteenth-century Latin America, 1830-1890’. Society for Latin American Studies (SLAS) Annual Conference, April 2020, CEDLA, University of Amsterdam
  • ‘Applications of Social Network Analysis to Historical Research’, on the ‘Digital History Postgraduate Panel’. Digital History Seminar series, December 2019, Institute of Historical Research (IHR)
  • ‘Mapping the Polish Knowledge Network in Nineteenth-century Latin America’, on the ‘PhD students’ experiences with archives and interviews’ panel. Polish Studies: Today and Tomorrow, September 2019, UCL
  • ‘Mapping the Polish Knowledge Network in Nineteenth-century Latin America: Case Study of Engineers and Railways in Perú’, on the 'Migration, Diasporas and Transnational Identity Formation' panel. Postgraduates in Latin American Studies Annual Conference, June 2019, University of York
  • Chair on the 'Framing the Nation: Understanding the Post-Independence Period' panel. Postgraduates in Latin American Studies Annual Conference, June 2019, University of York
  • Chair on the 'Science Between the National and the Global' panel. British Society for the History of Science Postgraduate Conference, April 2019, University of Cambridge

Conference and workshop organisation

  • PILAS (Postgraduates in Latin American Studies) Annual Conference, University of Nottingham, July 2020
  • PILAS Latin American Archives and Collections Workshop in collaboration with the British Library, Senate House Library and King’s College London, November 2019

Teaching 2019-20 (postgraduate teaching assistant)

  • Writing History
  • Approaching History
  • Colonial and Revolutionary North America