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

Description du projet

Reconstruire une ère grâce à ses collections

La nature américaine ou les échantillons issus de la nature du continent occidental, se sont frayés un chemin dans les collections d’Europe centrale telles que le Clementinum à Prague, un collège jésuite. Sortis de leur contexte d’origine et laissés non examinés dans les collections, plusieurs de ces objets font l’objet d’un examen moderne pluridisciplinaire de l’Europe centrale à une époque de grands échanges culturels. Suppléé par les méthodes scientifiques actuelles, le projet HISPANEMA collabore avec des scientifiques mexicains, espagnols et américains pour recueillir le plus d’informations possible sur un objet et son histoire. La reconstruction de l’histoire d’un objet et la recréation de l’ère durant laquelle il a été recueilli seront présentées de manière interactive au public.


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.



Contribution nette de l'UE
€ 144 360,00
Calle serrano 117
28006 Madrid

Voir sur la carte

Comunidad de Madrid Comunidad de Madrid Madrid
Type d’activité
Research Organisations
Autres sources de financement
€ 0,00

Partenaires (1)