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Hidden Spaces of American Natural History in Early Modern Central Europe: Reconstruction of Memory and Experience Narrated by Things

Descripción del proyecto

Reconstrucción de una era a través de sus colecciones

Algunas muestras tomadas de la naturaleza americana acabaron formando parte de colecciones de Europa Central, como la del museo jesuita del Clementinum de Praga. Sacados de su contexto original y guardados sin examinar en colecciones, algunos de estos objetos permiten realizar un examen moderno multidisciplinario de Europa Central durante una época de importantes intercambios culturales. El proyecto HISPANEMA colabora con científicos mexicanos, españoles y estadounidenses para recopilar la mayor información posible sobre un objetivo y su historia con ayuda de los métodos científicos actuales. La reconstrucción de la historia de un objeto y la recreación de la era en que fue recogido se presentarán de forma interactiva al público.


As Giorgio Riello claims and Paula Findlen stresses, by ‘connecting objects and narratives, it is possible to write a new history of the early modern’. This project shares the same goal: by investigating the narratives of things, i.e. by investigating their epistemic, cultural, and social lives, by reconstructing their ‘previous lives’ and afterlives, it intends to write a new chapter in the cultural history of science, carry out a reconstruction and visualisation of once lost and so far still unknown part of European scientific heritage.

The investigation will focus on American naturalia, i.e. ‘natural things’, kept in yet unexplored collections of a prominent noble family of Rosenberg and in the Jesuit museum in the Clementinum (Musaeum Mathematicum Collegii Clementini). The reconstruction of the memory and experience of these things will be achieved by linking the study of inventories, artefacts, or partial references to items included in those collections with diverse texts and images of institutional and personal character, which bring these things to life from various perspectives and reveal their geographic instability, slipperiness, cultural and gender hybridity, multivalence, and categorical fluidity, especially – but not exclusively – in relation to the specific conditions of Central Europe in the era of first globalisation. The research will be carried out in intensive collaboration with excellent scientists (Spain, Mexico, USA). The main investigation outcome will be 1) a monograph Hidden Spaces of American Natural History in the Early Modern Central Europe presenting the original, hitherto unexplored topics, and 2) a HISPANEMA website that will contain visual reconstructions of the above mentioned collections as well as various other materials thanks to which the ‘Central European americana’ will again come to live in interaction with an audience.



Aportación neta de la UEn
€ 144 360,00
Calle serrano 117
28006 Madrid

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Comunidad de Madrid Comunidad de Madrid Madrid
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Research Organisations
Otras fuentes de financiación
€ 0,00

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