Ivonne del Valle’s research and interests include Ignacio de Loyola, the Jesuits, and their ambiguous contributions, on the one hand, to the politics and aesthetics of the Baroque and, on the other, to the formation of Enlightenment culture. Her first book explores 18th century Jesuit networks of knowledge linking borderland areas in New Spain to European interests, and the way in which global knowledge was produced by the erasure of information that gave local culture and life its specific character.
She has also written several articles on José de Acosta and his paradoxical role in the formulation of the theory and practice of Spanish colonialism. This Jesuit priest made economic expansion and rational exploitation the condition of possibility of evangelization while subsuming Christianity in secular practices. The exploration of the ways in which via its contact with the Americas, Spain’s Christianity was secularized in the name of political dominion, has been fundamental for her work.
de Valle is currently working on two projects: the first one has to do with technology, the long process of the drainage of the lakes of Mexico City starting in 1607 and finished during the Porfiriato or—depending on the sources and the perspective—still unfinished. In the second project, she is studying the role of the colonization of America in the development of new epistemologies and political theories from the 15th century onward.