Ph.D., Cornell University, 2016

M.A., Cornell University, 2013

B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 2009



Ryan C. Edwards is a scholar of modern Latin America. His work engages historical geography, political ecology, and science and technology studies. Through interdisciplinary methods and multiple historiographies, he examines nature-society relations, especially those that emerge through the confluence of science, cultural practices, and state-formation. Edwards’ current project explores the relationship between prison and place in Patagonia during the early twentieth-century. The study compares the writings, practices, and experiences of penologists, foresters, inmates, and community members in Ushuaia, to recuperate a carceral ecology that transcended prison walls and positivist theories of incarceration and rehabilitation. In addition to studying prisons, Edwards has worked with incarcerated students and organizations centered on higher education in prisons, including work at Cayuga Correctional Facility, and workshops with the Alliance for Higher Education in Prison.



World History from 1400-Present

Latin America: Environment and Extraction

Crimes and Prisons: A Spatial History

Global Environmental History

Modern Latin American History



UTC Faculty Research Grant (2017)

Social Science Research Council IDRF

Fulbright IIE (Argentina)


Publication Highlights

“Convicts and Conservation: Inmate Labor, Fires and Forestry in Southernmost Argentina," Journal of Historical Geography 56, no. 2 (2017): 1-13

“Placing Patagonia: Present, Future, Past,” Latin American Studies Program Blog, Cornell University (July 2016)

“From the Depths of Patagonia: The Ushuaia Penal Colony and the Nature of ‘The End of the World’,” Hispanic American Historical Review 94, no. 2 (May 2014)

“CSI Buenos Aires: The Crime on Prudan Street” The Appendix 2, no. 2 (April 2014)


Conference & Presentation Highlights

“The Sun Denies Its Own Heat,” Ecology, Decay, and the Prisoner Experience in Ushuaia, Argentina,” Latin American Studies Association Conference, New York, May 2016

“The Open-Door Panopticon: Exploring Prison and Place in Southern Patagonia, 1902-1947,” The Carceral Archipelago Conference, University of Leicester, September 2015

“¡Incendio! Presos leñadores y las relaciones ecológicos de la cárcel de Ushuaia,” Historia y cuestión criminal en América Latina, Universidad Nacional del Litoral, December 2014

“An Ecology of Exile: The Ushuaia Penal Colony and Rethinking the Nature of the ‘End of the World,’” Conference on Latin American History and American Historical Association, New Orleans, January 2013



American Historical Association (AHA)

Latin American Studies Association (LASA)

Conference on Latin American History (CLAH)

Association of American Geographers (AAG)

American Society for Environmental History