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Making Natural History in New Spain, 1525–1590

AuthorsPardo-Tomás, José
KeywordsNew Spain
Natural History
Issue Date2016
PublisherMax Planck Institute for the History of Science
CitationThe Globalization of Knowledge in the Iberian Colonial World : 29-51 (2016)
AbstractThe walls of Malinalco contain a “natural history” of the Mexican highlands. They are the visual representation of that natural history, but one indissolubly linked with a textual representation arising from the exchanges between friars and indios -an oral circulation that has been lost for ever. This obliges to consider what it meant to practice natural history in Mexico by writing, on paper or on walls, during the first sixty or seventy years of the colony. By which channels, by which authors and in which styles was it done? To that end it is necessary to consider as sources not only texts, but also images and even objects, when it is possible to relate them to those practices. This strategy enables to go beyond writing, traditionally subject as it is to certain descriptive and taxonomic techniques which were applied to each specimen of the three realms of nature observed, collected or selected by the writer. The author shows that behind the various ways of practicing natural history in the final decades of the sixteenth and the first decades of the seventeenth centuries, there exists a plurality of intellectual projects, convergent and connected.
Publisher version (URL)http://edition-open-access.de/media/proceedings/10/4/proc10chap2.pdf
Appears in Collections:(IMF) Libros y partes de libros
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