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La introducción a la Historia Natural de Tadeo Haenke y las representaciones de la naturaleza en la conformación del Alto Perú

Author(s): Tatiana Navallo

Journal: Antíteses
ISSN 1984-3356

Volume: 4;
Issue: 8;
Start page: 703;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Natural history | Tadeo Haenke | The Rio de la Plata press | Telégrafo Mercantil | Colonial discourse | Scientific exploration.

Tadeo Henke’s Introducción a la Historia Natural de la Provincia de Cochabamba y circunvecinas emerges, according to Higgins, in the context of the consolidation of the “archive” of Creole knowledge. A naturalist, Henke submitted his report to the Intendant of Cochabamba, Franciso de Viedma. The report was later partially published in Buenos Aires’ first newspaper, the Telégrafo Mercantil (1801-1802). The text is a systematic proposal on the scientific knowledge of the High Peruvian territory. It seeks to inform royal officials about the region’s natural resources and their exploitation. In particular, it proposes that their developed be integrated into a local and intercontinental commercial circuit. On a discursive level, the scientific assessment of the described region constitutes a process of symbolic and material formation of the border between the viceroyalties of Peru and of the Rio de la Plata, by positively reinforcing the territory and its inhabitants. Furthermore, its modes of discourse reveal a revitalized desire to control the natural and social world as a result of the Bourbon reforms. These modes illustrate a play of representations in which “good ordering” and “exploiting natural resources” encourage a dynamic circulation of transatlantic knowledges disseminated by the Rio de la Plata press.
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