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Nelson Shuchmacher Endebo



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History of Science
Literature and Anthropology
Comparative Poetics
17th century literature
Early Modern Iberian literature

Nelson Shuchmacher Endebo

I am a 3rd year Ph.D. student in the Department of Comparative Literature. The questions I explore in my work orbit three concepts that lie at the core of my discipline, namely, analogy, relation and perspective. Methodologically, my work draws from ethnography, media theory, philosophical anthropology (Kant, Gehlen, Scheler, Blumenberg), conceptual history and systems theory.
Most of my research focuses on 16th and 17th century dramatic, poetic, epistolary, “literary” and “historical” accounts of interactions between native populations and Iberian settlers and missionaries in Latin America, especially in Brazil and Mexico. I study how these multi-genre reports stand alongside those found in the archives of the Portuguese, Spanish and Italian Jesuit missions to Southeast Asia, especially China. In my research I trace some of the “intercultural” strategies and translation mechanics whereby the Tupi-speaking natives in Brazil, the Aztecs in Mesoamerica and the Chinese emerged into “universal history.” Beyond that, I am interested in how each instance can contribute to debates on the nature of comparison itself, and the difficult relationship between locals and universals.
I am receiving training in Nahuatl, and am interested in developing frameworks for teaching pre-Columbian and indigenous matters in Latin American and Comparative literature courses in a non-trivial way. In fact, I think the Humanities still tend to be remarkably tame and selective when it comes to their modes of engagement with the ways most humans think and deal with the world. Along with Prof. Vincent Barletta, I founded the South of South workshop, a space where we can address some of the consequeces of such disciplinary decisions, with the hopes that we may bring concepts and practices that have traditionally remained mere objects of study isolated in the social sciences to inspire institutional frameworks for humanistic inquiry.
At Stanford I co-direct the Poetic Media Lab at the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA), and am an enthusiastic contributor to the Florentine Codex Project, a Digital Humanities partnership between scholars at Bucknell University and Stanford’s Poetic Media Lab to produce a new digital edition of Bernardino de Sahagún’s Historia general de las cosas de Nueva España. In the 2019-2020 academic year I am working with Stanford’s Global Studies Outreach program to support this year’s EPIC fellows.
My afterword to the new edition of Vilém Flusser’s Vampyroteuthis Infernalis will be published in his Collected Works (São Paulo: É Realizações, forthcoming Winter 2020). My paper on the concept of non-Italian Italian literature is currently under peer review. Projects for 2019-2020 include a reassessment of the past and future of modernist Antropofagia vis-à-vis its newfound centrality to contemporary Amazonian ethnography; and a paper on self-translation in Matteo Ricci’s 1601 treatise 交 友 論 (Dell'amicizia).
In Spring 2020 I will be teaching Accelerated 1st Year Portuguese (1A) M-F 9:30-10:20. E-mail me if you have questions!


2017-present : PhD candidate, Comparative Literature, Stanford University
2017: M.A., Media Theory and Communication, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro
2013: B.A., English and German Studies (summa cum laude), Portland State University
2012-13: DAAD scholarship recipient, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg