Curiosity in Early Modern Iberia

A special issue of Arts (ISSN 2076-0752).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2024 | Viewed by 368

Special Issue Editor

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Comparative Literature, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
Interests: medieval and early modern literature and theory

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Curiosity is the pursuit of knowledge by empirical means. Indeed, while curiosity killed the cat and got Adam and Eve thrown out of the Garden, curiosity becomes perceived in the entire early modern period as the currency of cultural progress. It led to scientific discoveries and life-changing insights derived from exploration, to massive encyclopedic ventures, to intense self-study, to the surveillance of the Inquisition, to the voyeurism of pornography, and to the tremendous popularity of tabloid journalism.

In 16th-century Iberia, this new curiosity was importantly expressed in encyclopedic ventures—from the government’s census-taking to the Inquisition’s insatiable desire to saber vidas ajenas (the public surveillance of private lives), and to the scientific recording and organizing of the exotic far reaches of the empire in all their particularity. This new curiosity was crucial not only in providing politically useful data, however, but also for its contribution to advances in three unanticipated areas: to modern encyclopedism; to the history of subjectivity; and to the invention of the novel. All three advances reflect the notable shift from passive wonder to active curiosity.

This Special Issue of Arts will focus on the fascination with curiosity in Early Modern Iberia (16th–17th centuries) as expressed in a wealth of different cultural productions—from literary to artistic, political, scientific, racial, religious, sartorial, as well as the exploration of gender.

Prof. Dr. Marina Brownlee
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • curiosity
  • Early Modern Iberia
  • encyclopedia
  • subjectivity
  • gender
  • Inquisition
  • voyeurism
  • novel
  • gender

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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