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Open Access Wonder en weten

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The Ambonese Curiosity Cabinet (D’Amboinsche Rariteitkamer), published in Amsterdam in 1705, is one of the first scholarly works on crustaceans, molluscs, shells and conches as well as minerals and stones in a European vernacular. The author of the book, the VOC merchant and historian of nature Georg Everhard Rumphius, arrived in the Moluccas in 1654 and lived on the island of Ambon until his death in 1702. The historical figureĀ of Rumphius and his texts prove that the production and reception of knowledge about natural history was situated in cultural contact between Asian and European actors. A key factor for the accumulation of information and the mobility of knowledge were manners of representation and means of organising knowledge. In Rumphius’ case, this included rhetorical devices and strategies commonly used in other genres such as histories or travel writing. This paper analyses the poetics of knowledge of the Ambonese Curiosity Cabinet by focussing on the categories of wonder, trade, power, and incorporation. Behind the admiration for newly discovered and rare objects by individual European actors, military conflicts and commercial interests come into view. Like colonial commodities transported to Europe, colonial knowledge was incorporated into the European body of knowledge about natural history.
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Keywords: Amboinsche Rariteitkamer; Ambonese Curiosity Cabinet; Rumphius; appropriation; commerce; poetics of knowledge; power; wonder

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2017

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  • Internationale Neerlandistiek is het wetenschappelijke tijdschrift van de Internationale Vereniging voor Neerlandistiek. Het Nederlandstalige tijdschrift bevordert de dialoog tussen alle wetenschappers die werkzaam zijn op het gebied van de internationale neerlandistiek. Internationale Neerlandistiek richt zich op de Nederlandse (en Zuid-Afrikaanse) taal- en letterkunde in ruime zin, en heeft daarnaast aandacht voor interculturele aspecten van deze subdisciplines, communicatiewetenschap, didactiek en nieuwe technologie in de vakbeoefening, het verloop van canoniseringsprocessen, vertalen, culturele studies en voor de cultuur van de Lage Landen. Het tijdschrift heeft qua vraagstelling, methode en object een internationaal vergelijkende, en qua auteurs, lezers en verspreiding een internationale dimensie.

    Internationale Neerlandistiek is the scholarly journal of the International Association for Neerlandistiek. Internationale Neerlandistiek is a Dutch language, peer-reviewed journal with an international focus. The journal aims to improve the discussion in international Dutch (including South-African) linguistics and literature, in the broadest sense, including intercultural aspects of subdisciplines, communication studies, translation, cultural studies and the culture of the Low Countries in general.

    The journal is published in Open Access, with the following Creative Commons copyright license: Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).

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