Jennifer Nelson - The Dream of East Meets West Haunts the Boxer Codex
We invite you to join the Department of Art History at the University of Chicago for this upcoming lecture as part of the 2022-23 Smart Lecture series. The lecture is Thursday, November 10 at 5:00pm CT with a Q&A session and reception to follow. This event will take place in CWAC 157 with a simultaneous live stream over zoom. More information to come.
The “Boxer Codex” is a c. 1591 compilation of accounts, written in or translated into Spanish, of the peoples of Southeast Asia alongside illustrations made by a Christianized Manila Chinese artist. This manuscript is less hybrid than collaborative. That is, it brings together overlapping norms of Spanish and Ming Chinese imperial cultures vis-à-vis the non-imperial cultures of the region. In lieu of typical narratives about galleons, pigment analysis, and trade routes, a methodology informed by the complexity of transcultural iconography and visual rhetoric makes it possible to grasp the ghost of this elusive—indeed, nearly lost—manuscript: the easy economic imperialist dream of the first colonial governor of the Philippines, left unfinished upon his assassination by Manila Chinese mutineers.
Jennifer Nelson is Assistant Professor of Early Modern Art in the Department of Art History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the author of Disharmony of the Spheres: The Europe of Holbein’s Ambassadors (Penn State) and the forthcoming Lucas Cranach: Artist of the Humanist Reformation (Reaktion, Renaissance Lives). Her current book project is a comparative study of visual cultures on the borders of late sixteenth-century Christendom.
This event will take place in CWAC 157 with a simultaneous live stream over zoom. If you are unable to join us in person, please register for the zoom meeting here.
Presented by the Department of Art History as part of the 2022/23 Smart Lecture series supported by the Smart Family Foundation.