Jorge Ledo

Since completing his PhD in Intellectual History (Centre for Modern Thought, University of Aberdeen, 2009), Jorge Ledo has been Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, 2009-2010) and at the University of Basel (Switzerland, 2011-2017).


He has organized and participated in conferences in a wide range of universities and research centres of renowned international prestige, among which are the Warburg Institute, the University of London, the University of Buffalo, the University of Tokyo, Bristol University and the University Ca’Foscari. He is a founder and director of the «Hetedoroxia Iberica» collection for Brill Publishers.


Among his academic work, which is centred around the intellectual history of the Late Middle Ages and the Renaissance, his studies of the Dutch humanist Erasmus of Rotterdam are particularly noteworthy. Ledo played a fundamental part in the finding and critical edition of the only translation to Spanish of the XVI century In Praise of Folly (Moria de Erasmo Roterodamo, Leiden-Boston:Brill) and a partial (Erasmus Studies, 2018). Currently, he is in the process of completing various volumes with both nationally and internationally renowned publishers.


In recent decades Historiography has begun to pay more attention to communicative practices during the Renaissance, paying special attention to court culture, in academies, and more recently in the area of diplomacy. However, we are yet to create a thorough analysis of the communicative practices which could be defined as «scientific culture» and «high culture» during the period.


My focus in this project will not consist in offering a descriptive or comprehensive study of said practices. It will however offer an analysis of the conceptual and ideological bases, which are much less studied, and give them entity and theoretical coherence. The aim is to show that under the apparent heterogeneity of mechanisms by which old knowledge is upheld and perpetuated, or by which it is refuted, expunged, punished or the new is imposed, a series of more or less consciously accepted communicative codes are found among a large majority of intellectuals of the time.


The difficulty in describing this communicative «theory» is two-fold. On one hand, the fact is that during the period it is not possible to ascribe it to any specific theoretical domain – nor to any specific discipline – as it is transversal by definition, and therefore the analysis that attempts to study it must also be so. On the other hand, not all the central concepts within this «theory» are incorporated at the same time nor with the same intensity, but are gradually modified and crystallized through the sedimentation of very different materials – from the advancements of textual criticism to the study of Roman law, from Biblical exegesis to innovations in material culture, to give but a few examples – between the end of the XIV century and the beginning of the XVI century.


The importance of the project lies in that it allows us to understand the great historical disruptions which are produced during the long process of transformation from medieval culture to modern European culture as a coherent group established in a new communicative culture. A theoretical group that offers a new starting point from which to understand its theoretical nuance, not exclusively «archaeological», and features that Europeans have attempted to give themselves as hallmarks of their culture: freedom of expression, freedom of thought, religious freedom or the idea of progress.