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The Holy Office in the Republic of Letters: Censorship, Commerce and the European Information Order in the Seventeenth Century

March 7 @ 12:10 pm - 1:30 pm

Time: 12:10 PM – 1:30 PM
Location: SSH 273
Please join us for our last History Colloquium of the Winter Quarter featuring our very own Daniel Stolzenberg.
Before 1655 it was taboo for prominent Catholic authors to publish openly with Protestant printers in Amsterdam, the center of the European book trade. Beginning in 1655 such arrangements became commonplace. In this talk, I will offer an explanation for this change, focusing on an episode in 1660, involving secret collaborations between a famous Dutch publisher and the Holy Office of the Roman Inquisition, which led to the dissemination of an astronomical atlas espousing the banned Copernican theory. The larger aim of the talk, and the book project it represents, is to explore a poorly understood period in European cultural history—after the Peace of Westphalia, before the Enlightenment—when the long cold war between Catholics and Protestants continued to structure intellectual life, but de facto practices of pluralism and toleration emerged, giving rise to unexpected phenomena. The discovery of cosmopolitan papal censors working with profit-seeking Dutch booksellers to facilitate cross-confessional communication points to the inadequacy of the usual ways of thinking about censorship. It is best construed, not simply as an external force that impeded the creation and communication of knowledge, but rather as an integral component of the information order, shaping scholarship and how it moved.
For more information please contact: Sudipta Sen <ssen@ucdavis.edu>


March 7
12:10 pm - 1:30 pm

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