Mariana Françozo, Almeida Family/John M. Monteiro Memorial Fellow

When Mariana Françozo, Associate Professor at the School of Archaeology at Leiden University and member of the LAGLOBAL research network at the University of London, was asked to contribute to the JCB’s Global Americana exhibition, it was no surprise that she chose the Historia Naturalis Brasiliae (Leyden, 1648). In spring 2017, Françozo received a European Research Council grant for her five-year research project on the text and as an Almeida Family/John M. Monteiro Memorial Fellow later that year, began the investigatory stage of the project. She studied the Historia Naturalis Brasiliae (HNB) in comparison with two earlier works on the natural history of Ibero-America: Nicolas Monardes' natural history of the New World (Seville, 1565) and the corpus of Francisco Hernandez's work on the natural world of New Spain (Mexico, 1615).

“Being at the JCB allows me to easily compare the editions of the HNB to the various Spanish and Portuguese natural history treatises and travel accounts that preceded the publication of this book,” said Françozo. “Particularly impressive are the Library's collections of part of the Hernández corpus, including the only copy of the Recchi manuscript. Likewise, the JCB's collection of Dutch imprints and manuscripts allows me to understand exactly where the publication of the HNB fits in the history of the Dutch in the Atlantic.” Françozo looks forward to collaborating with the JCB over the course of her project, especially to create a digital platform where scholars and students can learn more about the HNB, Dutch Brazil, and indigenous knowledge in the early modern period.