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Sojourners in a Strange LandJesuits and Their Scientific Missions in Late Imperial China$
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Florence C. Hsia

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226355597

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226355610.001.0001

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Jesuit Academicians

Jesuit Academicians

(p.93) Chapter Six Jesuit Academicians
Sojourners in a Strange Land
University of Chicago Press

Thomas Gouye's readerly reactions to the travelogues his confreres published in celebration of their journeys on behalf of the Parisian Académie des sciences extended well beyond a list of errata. As editor of the Observations physiques et mathematiques...envoyées...à l'Académie royale des sciences à Paris, par les peres jesuites—two iterations of which appeared in rapid succession, in 1688 and 1692—Gouye moved the astronomical “observations” and physical “remarks” named in the subtitles of Jesuit travelogue accounts to the fore, deftly recasting them into academic form. This chapter examines the academic collection as a mode of publication for the Jesuit missionary man of science. In publishing the results of their earlier journeys afield, Parisian academicians developed a characteristic mise-en-page, a spatial logic for disposing a particular traveler's remarks on the printed page according to the principles of a common and coherent observational regime. The chapter looks at how adoption of these textual and typographical conventions allowed China Jesuits to exhibit the refined observational sensibility and conception of collaborative science that together constituted their assumption of an academic persona.

Keywords:   Thomas Gouye, travelogues, journeys, Jesuits, Académie des sciences, academic collection, science, mise-en-page, China, academicians

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