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Deconstructing the Enlightenment in Spanish America

Margins of Modernity

Authors: Sharman, Adam

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  • Examines material from five different cultural fields, ranging from science through to literatureOutlines the philosophical ideas that underpin the Spanish American Enlightenment with theoretical clarity and historical nuance to debates on Latin America and modernity
  • Provides a comparative dimensions, eschewing naïve celebrations of Enlightenment, ill-informed denunciations of it and contradictory affirmations of Hispanic alternatives that bypass its aporias
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-37019-0
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Hardcover $89.99
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About this book

This book is about Enlightenment culture in Spanish America before Independence—in short, there where, according to Hegel, one would least expect to find it. It explores the Enlightenment in texts from five cultural fields: science, history, the periodical press, law, and literature. Texts include the journals of the geodesic expedition to Quito, philosophical histories of the Americas, a year’s work from the Mercurio Peruano, the writings of Mariano Moreno, and Lizardi’s El periquillo sarniento. Each chapter takes one field, one body of writing, and one key question: Is modern science universal? Can one disavow the discourse of progress? What is a “Catholic” Enlightenment? Are Enlightenment reason and sovereignty monological? Must the individual be the normative subject of modernity? The book’s premise is that the above texts not only speak to the contradictions of a doubtless marginalised colonial American Ilustración but illuminate the constitutive aporias of the so-called modern project itself.

Drawing on the work of Derrida, but also on both historical and philosophical accounts of the various Enlightenments, this incisive book will be of interest to students of Spanish America and scholars in the fields of postcolonialism and the Enlightenment.

About the authors

Adam Sharman is Associate Professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Nottingham, UK. His books include Tradition and Modernity in Spanish American Literature, Otherwise Engaged: After Hegel and the Philosophy of History, and the co-edited 1812 Echoes: The Cadiz Constitution in Hispanic History, Culture and Politics.

Reviews

"With his customary rigorous scholarship and theoretical awareness, Adam Sharman has produced a challenging and thought-provoking reassessment of Spanish America's colonial Enlightenment. This is a timely and engaging intervention -  an essential re-reading of traditional notions of the Spanish American experience." – Dr. Philip Swanson, Hughes Professor of Spanish, University of Sheffield

 

“This is an insightful, well-researched, and very well-written piece of research on a rather overlooked subject of Spanish American Enlightenment thought and its translation into scientific, political, legal, and literary discourse. Close readings of relevant texts, including a painstaking examination of periodicals, provide a rounded understanding of the topic. The study engages in academic debate with the leading contributions to the field (including Pratt’s seminal work), drawing original and well-supported conclusions which open up new perspectives on several topics, including the view of Spanish American Enlightenment as a distinct philosophical field rather than a pale copy of its Western counterpart. Sharman demonstrates a rounded approach to the subject, exploring with equal ease and eloquence geodesic findings and legal intricacies. In short, this is a high-quality, memorable contribution to the field.”- Dr. Victoria Carpenter, Head of Research Development, University of Bedfordshire

Table of contents (7 chapters)

Table of contents (7 chapters)
  • Introduction: How Not to Write the History of the Spanish American Enlightenment

    Pages 1-15

    Sharman, Adam

  • Science: Three Degrees of Modernity: The 1735 Franco-Hispanic Expedition to Quito and the Question of Universal Science

    Pages 17-57

    Sharman, Adam

  • History: Conjectures on Commerce and the “Stages of Civilisation”: Philosophical Histories of America

    Pages 59-103

    Sharman, Adam

  • Periodical Press: Faith and Knowledge in the Mercurio Peruano

    Pages 105-150

    Sharman, Adam

  • Law: Prologue to Revolution: Mariano Moreno Translates Rousseau

    Pages 151-200

    Sharman, Adam

Buy this book

eBook $69.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-37019-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $89.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-37018-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Deconstructing the Enlightenment in Spanish America
Book Subtitle
Margins of Modernity
Authors
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-37019-0
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-37019-0
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-37018-3
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XV, 263
Number of Illustrations
2 b/w illustrations
Topics