The present research contributes to the fields of the history of ideas, 17th century studies, and Sinology. Its originality lies primarily in the way in which it aims to relate, in an entirely novel way and with a focus on European visions on the Chinese language, four different contexts of knowledge (the early collector culture; four important travel collections; four major intellectual debates; and the early press) within the shared space of the early European modernity and under the unified lens of the history of ideas. Identifying, tracing, and analyzing verbal and visual depictions of Chinese in primary texts are only preliminary steps, I hold, towards exploring in detail the role and function played by such references within the larger intellectual dynamics of the century. I claim, in fact, that it is only in dialogue with their larger respective contexts that such references can acquire full meaning. Conversely, by deepening our understanding of how Europeans conceived the Chinese language at this crucial moment in the European intellectual history, we can acquire, I argue, a more accurate image of the major mutations characterizing the early European modern age. Through its focus (the Chinese language and script in clearly circumscribed, but intertwining, 17th century European contexts), methods (informed by the history of ideas and comparative literature), and aims (both larger—advancing our learning about the production of knowledge in early modernity—and narrower—sharpening our image about the European rhetoric of the Chinese language and writing), this project significantly furthers our comprehension of a number of essential aspects in the making of European modernity.
|有效的開始/結束日期||2020/08/01 → 2023/07/31|