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FT-270822-20

Michael Everett Brumbaugh
Tulane University (New Orleans, LA 70118-5698)
Plato and the Guaraní Republics of Colonial Paraguay

Writing a chapter of a book on an 18th-century Latin treatise comparing indigenous societies of colonial Paraguay to Plato’s Republic.

Completion of a monograph on the indigenous communities of colonial Paraguay widely seen to have been modeled on Plato’s ideal state. My project offers a study of an eighteenth-century Latin treatise by José Manuel Peramás comparing the Guaraní communities in the Jesuit Province of Paraguay with the ideal state described by Plato in the Republic and the Laws. Virtually unknown to scholars of Latin America or antiquity, this treatise provides a detailed account of the impact ancient political thought had on how Europeans approached the Americas on both a conceptual and practical level. In contrast to the bulk of what is known about how classical legacies influenced early modern colonialism, Peramás draws on his own experience living among the Guaraní to offer a rebuttal to European visions of both antiquity and the Americas. My project demonstrates that this treatise is not merely an antiquarian curiosity, but rather a serious attempt to intervene in a European political discourse.

Project fields:
Classics; European History; Latin American History

Program:
Summer Stipends

Division:
Research Programs

Totals:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2020 – 7/31/2020