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Daniel Purdy

Daniel Purdy

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In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, China was a topic of serious scholarly interest at early modern German courts. East Asia constituted a region into which German princes each hoped to expand their own agendas, though often for distinctly different reasons. I am researching scholarly and imperial networks operating within early modern Europe and across the globe. My book focuses on three stages: first, how Jesuit missionaries integrated themselves into Chinese scholarly networks; second, how information was transported between China and European centers; third, how European print media preserved information about China both through libraries and the constant republishing of the same bits of information in popular literature.  My argument relies on contemporary German media theories by Friedrich Kittler, Bernhard Siegert, and Wolfgang Ernst, while also incorporating the accounts of early modern science put forward by Bruno Latour, John Law, Steven J. Harris, and other adherents of Actor-Network Theory.