Medical books and colonial Latin American literature
The introduction explains the book's scholarly contribution in the context of its interdisciplinary framework, particularly as it relates to the connection between the history of medicine and a the rise of a literary tradition in colonial Latin America. It argues for the importance of turning to medical books when assessing the emergence of a sense of identity linked to reading practices in colonial America, highlighting the often overlooked information these materials stand to offer about readers. Their preoccupation with the health of the community, and in the case of some projects, the fact that there was a demand for additional, revised editions allow us to trace aspects of their interaction with local audiences of the time in ways not possible with other materials. Lastly, this section analyses the relevance of emerging racial categories in early modern Mexico, as well as the existence of identity formulations that call into question a cohesive sense of "Spanishness" for that time and place, drawing attention to the shared radicado experience of the medical authors studied in the book.
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