Ana Carolina Hosne

junior fellow
EURIAS cohort 2016/2017
discipline History
Associate Professor, National University of San Martín, Argentina; Associate Felloy, University of Heidelberg

Research project

Transcending Words and Images: The Different Expressions of Memory in the Overseas Jesuit Missions (16th-18th centuries)


The book project aims to expand our understanding of the phenomenon of memory by approaching it from a transcultural and global perspective in the modern period. Defining "memory", its functions and purposes, which are forever changing across time and space, is a formidable challenge which can be analysed only in specific historical contexts. Within the growing field of memory studies, mission spaces—Jesuit mission contexts in particular—taking early modern Europe as a point of departure to later analyse the versatile role of memory in the overseas missions from a global perspective is an unexplored topic. Jesuit missions are particularly appealing to examine how religion and knowledge grew entangled, when production of knowledge became a purpose in itself. This can be explained, to a great extent, by the Jesuits’ humanist education, which contributed to complex processes of production, transmission and circulation of knowledge, in turn shaped by their interaction with the local contexts. Deeply rooted in that humanist Jesuit background, memory became a focus of interest for the members of the Society of Jesus right from its inception.


This study investigates the different roles and purposes of memory in the overseas Jesuit missions from the late sixteenth to the early eighteenth centuries, with special focus on the following case studies: Peru and Mexico, two colonial mission spaces, and China and Tibet, two non-colonial mission spaces. Europe forms the background against which to gauge the cultural baggage the Jesuits carried with them to their missions, which in turn comprised a multi-faceted interest in memory and its different purposes. The need to indoctrinate the local populations made of memory, its different rules and techniques an indispensable tool for them to remember the new doctrine.


However, as the proposed study will show, this imperative goal generated multiple interactions with different local formulations and uses of memory, thus transcending the mission spaces themselves. In this regard, mission spaces lend themselves as fascinating "laboratories" to analyse these multi-layered interactions, when it was unpredictable whether the purposes the Jesuits assigned to memory in their overseas missions would be the same once Europe was left behind.




Ana Carolina Hosne is Associate Professor at the National University of San Martín, Argentina and Asian Studies Coordinator at the Center for Slavic and Chinese Studies (CEMECH) at the same institution. She holds a Ph.D in History from the University of Buenos Aires. She has been awarded post-doctoral and visiting fellowships at the Center for Chinese Studies in Taipei, Harvard University, the European University Institute and the University of Heidelberg, among other institutions. Her research on the Society of Jesus in the 16th/early 18th centuries combines her three main research interests: Colonial Latin American history, Ming China, and Early Modern European history.


Selected publications


'Matteo Ricci’s Occidental Method of Memory (Xiguo Jifa) (1596): Untranslatable Images of a Classical Art of Memory in Ming Chin', Journal of Early Modern History, Brill, Leiden, Spring 2017. [forthcoming ]


'Friendship among Literati: The Jesuit Matteo Ricci (1552-1610) in Ming China', Transcultural Studies [online journal], vol. 1, 2014, pp. 190-214, doi:, accessed October 2016.


'Assessing Indigenous Forms of Writing: Jose de Acosta’s View of Andean Quipus in Contrast with Chinese 'Letters'', Journal of Jesuit Studies, vol. 1, no. 2, 2014, pp. 177-191.


The Jesuit Missions to China and Peru, 1570-1610: Expectations and Appraisals of Expansionism, Routledge, New York, 2013.


'The Art of Memory in the Jesuit Missions in Peru and China in the Late Sixteenth Century', Material Culture Review, vol. 76, 2012, pp. 30-40.



senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2017/2018
Paris Institute for Advanced Study
discipline History
senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2018/2019
Paris Institute for Advanced Study
discipline History Middle Ages
senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2011/2012
Paris Institute for Advanced Study
discipline Anthropology
senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2015/2016
Paris Institute for Advanced Study
discipline History