Thursday Seminar:"Italian Culture in Colonial South America: Jesuit Accomodations, Indigenous Appropriations and Catholic Cosmopolitanism"


Thursday, November 30, 2023, 5:00pm to 6:30pm


I Tatti

Speaker: Guillermo Wilde (I Tatti / Universidad Nacional de San Martin)

The Jesuit missions played a pivotal role in the worldwide dissemination of Renaissance and Counter-Reformation culture. The extent to which the Italian Jesuits, at the service of the Iberian crowns, marked this process has been a controversial topic. It has been argued that the "Italian style" promoted both the imposition of official artistic canons and accommodation to indigenous traditions. This resulted in the formation of hybrid cultural and material expressions in regions as diverse as the Andes and Mexico. This presentation shifts the focus to the less known frontiers of Colonial South America. It argues that the “civilizing” program developed by the Jesuits in these regions significantly contributed to the global mapping of knowledge about other cultures and the establishment of a cosmopolitan narrative that incorporated the indigenous peoples as active participants

Guillermo Wilde is Principal Investigator at the Argentinian National Council for Scientific Research and Professor of Anthropology and History at Universidad Nacional de San Martin. He is the author of numerous scholarly works on Colonial art and music, ethnohistory and religious conversion in the Iberian-American frontiers, including Religión y Poder en las Misiones Guaraníes, which obtained the “Premio Iberoamericano” Book Award from the Latin American Studies Association. Former Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, he has been visiting Professor at Sorbonne Université, Japan National Museum of Ethnology, Waseda University, and the European University Institute.

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