ONLINE PRIVACY SEMINAR: Historical Notions of Privacy in Latin America


This series of seminars aims to address historical issues of privacy in Latin America, in Europe, and transregionally. Each month, one of the participants will present a work-in-progress, which will be circulated in advance and discussed online via zoom. This event is open, and scholars of all countries are welcome to join. Meetings will be held on the last Thursday of the month at 17:00 CEST/CET. Exceptions will be informed in advance. The language of the seminar is English. If necessary, questions in Portuguese or Spanish can be posted on the chat and will be translated.

Historical Notions of Privacy in Latin America will return in 2021 with a Brazilian take on privacy in early modern Europe. Francisco de Paula de Souza Mendonça Júnior will present his paper on esoteric secrecy in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries on our next meeting, which will take place on January 28, at 17:00 CET (13:00 BRT).


Francisco de Paula de Souza Mendonça Júnior's WIP is:


The Polygraphia of Johannes Trithemius: reflections on the relationship between esotericism and politics in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries


This article discusses the role that the esoteric concept of "secret" had in the construction of encrypted communication methods. this paper seeks to understand the early modern notion that the world is full of secret signs in the message left by the Creator to help His men forge methods of secret communication. Furthermore, this secret communication helped people become aware of the secret dimension not only of language, but also of human action. Thus, this paper will discuss the opus Polygraphia, written by a German abbot, Johannes Trithemius (1462-1516), but it also maintains a dialogue with other relevant works.


To join the discussion, please send an email to: