Artisans of the Surface in Early Modern Europe, 1450-1750
We invite proposals for papers to be presented at this workshop - deadline 8 June 2018
Taking place over two days (20-21 September 2018), this workshop focuses on the practices of a range of artisans (tailors, barbers, cooks, cheesemakers, gardeners, and agronomists) and their relationships with the fields of meteorology, botany, natural history, medicine, earth sciences, and veterinary medicine. These artisans and their practices shared a set of skills related to the observation and manipulation of human and non-human surfaces. We will explore how, and if, practical knowledge about the surface of things and bodies (and their storage and preservation in relation to specific environmental conditions) led to the concept of nature and matter as composed of layers, and how such a framework contributed to the demise of traditional Galenic and Aristotelian views on nature.
This workshop also aims at getting past the dichotomies between
quantitative and qualitative knowledge and between natural philosophy and the
arts, and so we intend to broaden the focus to include a set of artisans
who have traditionally remained invisible from accounts of this ‘age of the
new’. We will explore the many different ways in which ‘modern science’
emerged, the relationships between social and cognitive practices, and the
contribution that non-mathematical sciences gave to the mental habits of
observing, collecting, experimenting with, and manipulating natural matter.
speakers are Elaine Leong (MPIWG, Berlin) on
domestic health practices, Bradford Bouley (UC Santa Barbara) on butchers, Maria Conforti (La Sapienza) on the surface of the earth, and Carolin Schmitz (EUI) on barber-surgeons. Sandra Cavallo (Royal Holloway) will offer
final remarks. We welcome proposals that complement these topics, in particular
those that address the relationships between gardening, natural history, and medicine; cooking and knowledge; work on animal skin; leatherwork; or veterinary medicine. Presentations will be followed
by ample time for discussion and reflection, and so we are happy for works in
Proposals (up to 250 words) for 20-minute papers should be sent to Paolo Savoia at email@example.com by 8 June 2018. We may be able to provide speakers with reasonable accommodation and travel costs. Please indicate when you apply if you will require assistance with expenses.
Image taken from Agostino Gallo, Le vinti giornate dell'agricoltura et de' piaceri della villa (Venice, 1572)