Princeton Workshop in the History of Science
Diasporas of Knowledge: Science across the Seas: Global Knowledge and Comparative History
Organized by Benjamin Elman and D. Graham Burnett
(NOTE: This site is still under contruction as of 11/15/02)
"For is not the modern growth of the Empire Beyond the seas itself the outcome of the very embodiement of the advancement of science?." — Sir David Masson, 1911
In the 2002-2003 academic year Princeton University's Program in the History of Science (in conjunction with the Shelby Cullom Davis Center) will host two day-long workshops tied to the broader Davis Center theme of "migrations." Our aim is to investigate how scientific knowledge moves--across cultural boundries, geographical spaces, and linguistic communities. What role does "place" play in the history of science? What distinctive epistemologies and practices emerge in the "contact zones" of the world? What light can comparative approaches shed on these questions? Both sessions will address these general problems, but each has a distinctive focus.
- Session I. Friday, Dec. 6, 2002 Global Science and Comparative History: "Jesuits, Science and Philology in China and Europe, 1550-1850"
- Session II. Saturday, March 7, 2003 Science Across the Seas: Nature, Knowledge, and the Oceans
How did textual knowledge acquired through the use of philology impact natural studies in Germany and China? What was the impact in early eighteenth-century China of the Jesuit expertise in Renaissance scientia, which included training in astronomy, mathematics, and global geography? Rather than labeling the early modern European tradition in natural studies "science" and dismissing such interests in late imperial China as "magic" or "superstition," can we do justice to each on their own terms in light of their overlapping scope and unique content?
Speakers for Session I:
9:00 a.m. Florence Hsia, University of Wisconsin - Madison
"Rereading Jesuit Contributions to the History of Chinese Science"
10:40 a.m. Laura Hostetler, University of Illinois - Chicago
"Ethnography and Exploration in Southwest China"
1:25 p.m. Bruce Rusk, University of California - Los Angeles
"Old Scripts, New Actors: Ming Philology Before the Jesuits"
3:00 p.m. Alix Cooper, State University of New York - Stony Brook
"Latin Words, Vernacular Worlds: Language, Nature, and the "Indigenous' in the Early Modern German Territories"
4:35 p.m. Denise Phillips, Harvard
"Science, Myth and the Eastern Soul: J.S.C. Schweigger and the Society for Natural Knowledge and the Spread of Higher Truth"
Session II. Friday, March 7, 2003, Science Across the Seas: Nature, Knowledge, and the Oceans
How do the oceans take shape in the Euro-American imagination from the early modern period of the middle of the twentieth century? How does one “know” the oceanic world? Its physical character and dynamics? Its denizens? It shores and depths? How has “being at sea” affected the thinking and practice of natural philosophers and voyaging naturalists? This workshop, drawing on historians of oceanography, will investigate knowledge of, and on, the seas.
Speakers for Session II:
9:00 a.m. Philip Steinberg, Florida State University
“Bringing the Sea Back In: Mapping Mobility and the Construction of State Sovereignty”
10:40 a.m. Helen Rozwadowski, Georgia Institute of Technology
“Kingdoms to be Discovered: Exploration and its Legacy for the Oceans”
1:25 p.m. Gary Kroll, State University of New York - Plattsburgh
“The Oceanic Hunting Grounds of Roy Chapman Andrews: Whales and Resource and Game in Post-Frontier America”
3:00 p.m. Naomi Oreskes, University of California - San Diego
“A Context of Motivation: Navy Oceanographic Research and the Discovery of Sea-Floor Hydrothermal Vents”
4:30 p.m. Eric Mills, Dalhousie University - Halifax
Reflections and Final Discussion
Note: Papers for the workshops are precirculated and will be available to download approximately two weeks prior to the workshop. Lunch is provided for all who attend.