Florencia Quesada Avendaño


Further information on the affiliationHCAS Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies P.O. BOX 4 SF-00014 University of Helsinki FINLAND

Curriculum Vitae

Florencia Quesada is a research fellow in the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies at the University of Helsinki (UH). She is also Adjunct Professor in Latin American Studies and in Development Studies (2015-2018)(UH). Quesada’s current research focuses on the urban and cultural transformation of Guatemala City between 1880-1930. The research examines, from an interdisciplinary and regional perspective, the process of urban modernization and the power relations expressed in the urban sphere. The city's transformation is also analyzed in the context of political and economic processes, cultural and social changes, architectural and urban transformations and, last but not least, using images, literary descriptions and representations. 

At the same time, she is also a member of the research team of the Academy of Finland-project FCITIES: Societal security, environmental vulnerability and redistributive justice in fragile cities of the global South (Anja Nygren, 2016-2020), Development Studies, Department of Political and Economic Studies.The research analyzes the ways in which fragile cities in the global South are dealing with the challenges of societal security, environmental vulnerability and representative justice in the spaces of multi-scale governance, and how close (or far) they are from the ideal of societal security. Quesada will analyse Guatemala City’s case –amongst Calcutta in India, Bogotá in Colombia and Villahermosa in Mexico–. She will examine how the transference of schemes of governance to private firms and civil society groups is negotiated and contested by initiatives searching ways to create more accountable state institutions and more open networks for public policy

She teaches courses in contemporary urban Latin America, urban cultural and architectural history, sustainable tourism, and violence and insecurity in Central America. 

She earned her PhD in Latin American Studies from the UH, a DEA in history from Université Paris 1-Sorbonne and a master’s degree in history from the University of Costa Rica. She has carried out primary research in Guatemala, Honduras, and Costa Rica, and in archives in France, Spain, and the United States. For eight years, she was a lecturer in the international virtual program of Latin American Studies-AMELAT XXI, coordinated by Universidad Complutense de Madrid and part of a network of European and Latin American Universities. 

Before coming to Finland from Costa Rica, she was a researcher at Centro de Investigaciones Históricas de América Central (CIHAC) at the University of Costa Rica, and at the Department of Education of the Central Bank Museums.

She was a co-curator of the first Costa Rican Pavilion at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition/Absorbing Modernity: 1914-2014 of La Biennale di Venezia.

Quesada has published on Central American urban cultural history, planning and sustainable tourism. Her latest book about the urban modernization in San José, Costa Rica received the 2011 Cleto González Víquez Award from the Academy of Geography and History of Costa Rica.

Latest publications

  1. Accepted/In press

    Ensanches y nuevos espacios de poder en la ciudad liberal: ciudad de Guatemala, 1880-1920

    Quesada, F., 2018, (Accepted/In press) Del pre-urbanismo al urbanismo en Latinoamérica, 1870-1930. Propuestas, debates y pioneros. . Almandoz, A. & Ibarra, M. (eds.). Santiago de Chile: Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, 31 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

  2. Turismo costero, planificación turística y el conflicto de las demoliciones en el Caribe Sur de Costa Rica

    Quesada, F., Nov 2016, Debates contemporáneos sobre el turismo : Nuevos retos del turismo. Casos de estudio sobre los vínculos entre la gobernanza, el desarrollo y la sostenibilidad. Garavito, L. & Ochoa, F. (eds.). Bogotá: UNIVERSIDAD EXTERNADO DE COLOMBIA, Vol. 1, 21 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

View all (30) »

Latest activities

  1. Revista reflexiones (Journal)

    Quesada Avendaño, F. (Reviewer)
    4 May 2018

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPeer review of manuscripts

  2. Course: Urban studies in the Global South

    Quesada Avendaño, F. (Speaker: Presenter)
    9 Apr 2018

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

  3. Anuario de Espacios Urbanos (Journal)

    Quesada Avendaño, F. (Reviewer)
    Feb 2018

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPeer review of manuscripts

View all (75) »

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