Censorship and Dissent

Indices Librorum Prohibitorum et Expurgandorum

The indexes are enormous machines of bibliographical scholarship aimed at the control and surveillance of printed matter, but their consequences cannot be described only in terms of subtraction or detraction: they also influenced behaviour, modified writing practices, generated new forms of reading, encouraged the writing of new works to replace the banned ones, and gave rise to forms of resistance and contestation.

The objective of this line of research is to understand the construction, structure and impact of the major Hispanic prohibitory and expurgatory indexes of the sixteenth century and the early years of the seventeenth century (1551-1640). We are interested in analysing the expurgatory policy of the indexes, their opposition to and conflict with the censorship policy of Rome, the part played by the doctrinal centres of Salamanca, Louvain, Alcalá and Douai in drafting them and the physical marks that expurgation left on the Early Modern bibliographical heritage. We also seek to evaluate the textual heritage that was eliminated or lost as a result of the expurgatory interventions and the informal and hidden ways of correction used by printers and booksellers.

Line of research team