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Materia Medica Sinensis: construction, circulation and reconfiguration of medical-pharmaceutical knowledge in Macao in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Grant number: 18/02259-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2018
Effective date (End): October 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - Modern and Contemporary History
Principal researcher:Iris Kantor
Grantee:Fabiano Bracht
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The objective of this project is to understand the historical processes of construction and reconfiguration of knowledge - especially in Pharmacy and Medicine - in Macao (China), between the 17th and 18th centuries, and its circulation between Asia and Europe. To accomplish this goal, it is assumed that throughout the Modern Era, the Portuguese colonial domains were part of intense dynamics of construction, reconfiguration and circulation of scientific knowledge. In these spaces, diverse and complex processes of knowledge construction occurred, at the same time profoundly related to the many local specificities and idiosyncrasies and closely connected to the channels of circulation of knowledge established by the imperial institutions. Part of this dynamic was promoted by the circulation of agents, such as the military, state officials, doctors and missionaries. Power relations, exchanges and negotiations between European agents and local communities emerge as fundamental points for the understanding of such knowledge-making processes. In turn, these were directly influenced by the macro universe of structural, conjunctural, political, economic and social configurations. In order to fulfil the objectives of this project, the works, Ý-Haoc, by António de Barros, and Breve Compêndio de Várias Receitas de Medecina, by François de Rougemont, will be analyzed. These works will be compared with others, allowing access to the data on the production of knowledge in areas where there was Portuguese presence in South China, especially Macao and Southeast Asia, between the years 1640 and 1760.

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