Universität Erfurt

Projekt von Dr. Nicholas Miller

Dr. Nicholas Miller

The Atlantic Circulation of Models of Social Organization in the late Enlightenment: the Incas between Germany, Scotland and Latin America

The proposed project will systematically examine the presence of Enlightenment-era discussions on the ancient Inca civilization in the research collections at Gotha. Situated at the convex of three of the Forschungszentrum Gotha der Universität Erfurt’s research interests (Global Cultures of knowledge and history of transfers; History of humanities 15001800; Philosophy and history of the German and European Enlightenment), the project seeks to recover the extent of dialog on the governmental and social institutions of ancient Inca civilization that occurred across the Atlantic in the Age of Enlightenment. Recent research on Europe’s functional Others in the Age of Enlightenment has sought to demonstrate the spectrum of intercultural analysis that existed during the period (D. A. Harvey, S. Sebastiani, S. Muthu). The project contributes to this research direction with the example of the under-researched discourse surrounding the ancient Incas, which attained a reputation during the Enlightenment as a model of the possibilities of collectivist Kingship by novelists, playwrights, cameralists, “historians of man”, and travel compilers. Above all the project will reconstruct networks of idea and information exchange between a supposed periphery of eighteenth-century Enlightenment, Latin America, and two of its cores: Scotland and Germany.

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