Latin American Humboldtianism: Scientific Expeditions and Their Impact in Latin American Linguistic and Literary Thought
Project responsable Antonio Sánchez Jiménez
Team member Juan Pedro Sánchez Méndez
Antonio Corredor Aveledo
Elena PadrÓN Castilla
Martina Vinatea
Abstract Alexander von Humboldt’s Latin American travels (1799-1804) and the resulting publications, especially his Vues des cordillères et monuments des peuples indigènes de l'Amerique (1810-1813), deeply affected how Europeans saw the Americas, and influenced the self-perception of the Americans to a similar extent. Nevertheless, his expeditions were neither solely European nor were they the first to explore the continent with a scientific mind, as the preceding centuries had witnessed a considerable effort to explore the Americas, and as in this effort the participation of Latin American intellectuals had been essential.

This project proposes to examine how the great scientific expeditions to the Americas influenced eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Latin American thought. Focusing on two fronts of influence, literary and linguistic, we will study how the scientific expeditions changed the way Latin Americans saw themselves, how Latin Americans participated in these scientific efforts, and how contact with the European travelers and their findings altered their vocabulary and linguistic methodology.

In addition to this scientific objective, this project will intensify existing cooperation between Swiss and Latin American institutions, and to develop joint project proposals to be submitted to funding agencies. In particular, our project seeks to link two prestigious Latin American research institutes with the Université de Neuchâtel, which will serve as a connection with other European research consortia to which the PIs at Neuchâtel belong. In total, the project links the Universidad del Pacífico (Peru), the Instituto Caro y Cuervo (Colombia) and a series of European universities led by the Université de Neuchâtel.
Keywords Scientific expeditions; imagology; Latin America; literature
Type of project Research mandate
Research area Littérature
Method of financing Confédération
Status Completed
Start of project 1-1-2018
End of project 1-1-2019
Overall budget 10.000
Contact Antonio Sánchez Jiménez