José Ramón Marcaida will present some work in progress on the history of practical knowledge in the early modern Americas and, in particular, on the figure of the baquiano. In period sources the term baquiano (or baqueano) tends to adopt two, often interconnected meanings: on the one hand, it is used to refer to a veteran soldier, normally of European origin; on the other hand, it refers to a guide, an expert at finding paths. José Ramón Marcaida's research considers this figure as a case study for the exploration of issues of practical intelligence and resourcefulness in the early modern American context. Through this case study, his aim is to explore questions such as the relation between natural complexion, experience, and adaptation in the early Americas, and the embodied nature of practical knowledge in this context.
about the speaker
José Ramón Marcaida is a Tenured Researcher at the Department of History of Science, Institute of History, CSIC, in Madrid. He works on the intersections of science and art in the early modern period, with a particular focus on the Hispanic context. His research interests include the contribution of images and image-makers to the production and dissemination of scientific knowledge; the development of knowledge-making practices in contexts and processes like the exploration and conquest of the Americas, scientific expeditions and the cultures of collecting; and the appropriation and reinterpretation of scientific themes in the cultural discourse of the early modern period.
Caption (image): Detail from “America”, Johann Sadeler I, 1581. Engraving. Rijksmuseum.
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