[ISEA2010] Paper: Domingo Ledezma – Interpreting New World Nature: Niermberg’s Historia Naturæ as a Palimpsest of Fantastic Literature


Revisions to our understanding of the Scientific Revolution in the history of science over the last several years, have prompted greater interest in subjects related to transcendental philosophy, colonial spaces, teratology and religious corporations such as the Jesuits. The Society of Jesus, since the time of its inception, exhibited a strong vocation for the accumulation of knowledge. A vast corpus of works written by Jesuits suggests their curricular diversity: theology, historiography, natural philosophy, mathematics, and astronomy. In their schools, intellectual activity was heightened by newfound knowledge of cosmography and nature coming from the overseas missions. This information on remote regions and their inhabitants prompted the creation of a vast number of books on natural history.

  • Domingo Ledezma (VE/US), native of Venezuela, is Associateprofessor of Latin American Literature at Wheaton College,in Massachusetts USA. His recent publicationsand research focus on Jesuits New World intellectual productions, baroque natural histories and literature ofvoyages and shipwrecks.

Full text (PDF) p.  297-299