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Ben Breen: "Secret Books and Secret Nature in the Eighteenth Century Lusophone World"

Detail of a cartouche in Johannes van Keulen, Grand Nouvel Atlas de la Mer, ou Monde Aquatique (Amsterdam, 1696)

Wednesday, November 2, 2016, 12:00 PM
Building 260, Room 216

This talk explores the imperial, commercial, and religious contexts that informed the creation of an anonymous 1764 manuscript (now housed in the Jesuit archives in Rome) that collected proprietary drug recipes from Jesuit colleges in Italy, Portugal, Brazil, Macau, and Goa. Meticulously crafted to resemble a printed text, this unusual manuscript highlights the tension between secrecy and openness in eighteenth century writings about tropical nature.

Ben Breen is a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Society of Fellows at Columbia University and Assistant Professor of History at UC Santa Cruz.

presented with CMEMS and HPS