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The Jesuit collection at Collegium Romanum: circulation of objects between missionary activities and collecting practices in the Early Modern age

Grant number: 18/09730-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2018
Effective date (End): January 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - Modern and Contemporary History
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal researcher:Ana Paula Torres Megiani
Grantee:Carolina Vaz de Carvalho
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):19/21595-9 - The Jesuit collection at Collegium Romanum: mapping the movements of objects between missionary activities and collecting practices through Athanasius Kircher's correspondence, BE.EP.MS


The research project here presented dwells on the collection at Collegium Romanum under the care of the Jesuit Father Athanasius Kircher, in the period from 1651 to 1680. Our proposal is to investigate the global circulation of elements of material culture in the intersections between collecting practices in the Early Modern Age and missionary activities of the Society of Jesus. From a perspective of Material Culture Studies in dialogue with the discussions of the field of the History of Collections, our intention is to follow the objects as they move into and from the aforementioned collection, in an attempt to trace the networks of social relations and meanings that involved them. We, thus, intend to address some issues which are frequently alluded to in the studies on the period but not sufficiently explored, such as: the nature of the objects that circulated through the network formed in the connections between early modern collecting practices and Jesuit missionary activities; the identification of places and people connected by the routes traced in the movements of those objects; elements involved in the determination of objects, people and places that participated in those exchanges; and transformations in the material aspects, uses and meanings of the objects in transit. The main documents that will assist our investigations are two catalogues of the collection at Collegium Romanum, one published in 1678 and the other in1709, and letters received and sent by Athanasius Kircher, which will support our attempt to identify objects and map their movements in entering and leaving the collection under the guardianship of Kircher. (AU)

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