Reading Group: Fransen

Join us as we focus on recent work on observation and ways of looking at the body. We will explore how early moderns saw the body – technologically, physically, epistemically, artistically?

The third meeting of the Renaissance Skin Reading Group will discuss microscopy. Joining us will be Dr Sietske Fransen, from the ‘Making Visible’ project at the University of Cambridge. Fransen is an historian of science whose work focuses on translation and the role of imagery in early modern knowledge practices. In thinking about and framing our discussion, we are pairing Fransen’s draft article based on her current research on images in the correspondence and manuscripts of the Royal Society with selections from the recent work by Florike Egmond, Eye for Detail: Images of Plants and Animals, 1500-1630 (London, 2017).

We hope that this group will offer productive conversation on the importance of:

  • modes of observation in the study of skin
  • the impact of the microscope
  • networks and knowledge practices within which skin and the body were investigated
  • the relationship between human and animal classificatory systems
  • change and continuity in seventeenth-century medicine, science, and discourse on the natural world

This is an informal and friendly discussion, lasting about 90 minutes, and then followed by wine.

The event is open to participants from any discipline and at any stage of study. To attend, please register by emailing the team (see Contact page). The readings will be circulated in advance, once registered. We encourage anyone to bring materials, images, anecdotes, and ideas for discussion. There is no deadline to register but attendance will be guaranteed on a first-come first-served basis.

Please be aware that due to enhanced security at King’s and access to the room, any external guests will need to be collected from the Strand Reception by 3.50pm.

Image: Plate of four figures from the first volume of the Philosophical Transactions