HPS Colloquia 2015 - 2016

image of doorway with skeleton

The colloquium meets generally three times per quarter on Thursdays at 4:30
in the Lane History Building, Room 307, unless noted below.

  • Michael Hunter, University of London

    The Image of Restoration Science: The Frontispiece to Thomas Sprat’s History of the Royal Society (1667)

    History Building 200, room 307

    4:30pm, October 6, 2015

    Abstract: This paper is a study of a single image -- Wenceslaus Hollar's print celebrating Charles II as founder of the Royal Society, based on a design by John Evelyn. It is one of the best-known images to have come down to us from 17th-century science, but, though much reproduced, it has hitherto been little studied. Published in 1667 as the frontispiece to Thomas Sprat’s History of the Royal Society, the print had not in fact originally been intended for that book but for an apologetic work by the Somerset virtuoso, John Beale, which proved abortive: the opening section of the talk will therefore examine Beale's project and its implications for Evelyn's design. The remainder will be devoted to the image in its own right, a visual statement of the core values of the Royal Society in its early years: indeed, by elucidating it and its background we are almost provided with a short history of the early Royal Society -- its aspirations and the scientific and technological innovations with which it wished to associate itself. We also learn much about John Evelyn, the print's designer, his cultural role and his conception of the society.

    I will analyse the print's debt to earlier exemplars, showing how closely its design is modeled on the frontispiece to Nicolas Chaperon's published engravings of the Raphael loggia at the Vatican: this may suggest that Evelyn was trying to align the society as much with the legacy of Raphael as that of Copernicus. I will also deal with the print’s detailed components, including both the society's institutional trimmings and the scientific instruments that are profusely depicted: these reflect the inventions and experiments associated with the society at the time the etching was made, in fields ranging from horology to chemistry and from astronomy to pneumatics. The final section of the paper will investigate the print's publishing history, and particularly the evidence that exists that choice individual copies were produced, some of them on gampi paper imported from Japan, a great rarity which appealed to a virtuoso like Evelyn. This almost certainly occurred at Evelyn's behest, thus illustrating how Baconianism and connoisseurship interconnected in the values of the society's early Fellows.

  • Workshop: Gender as a Research Variable for Health Research, by invitation

    History Building 200 Room 307

    October 15, 1pm - 5pm
    October 16, 9am - 11am

  • Enlightenment, Ethnography and Empire: Prince Maximilian Wied-Neuwied's American Expeditions

    Peter Hanns Reill, UCLA

    "Enlightenment, Ethnography and Empire: Prince Maximilian Wied-Neuwied's American Expeditions"

    History Building 200, room 307

    4:30pm, October 29, 2015

  • Nico Wey-Gomez, Cal Tech

    "Columbus’s Other Worlds: Faith, Science, and the Invention of a New Continent (1498)"

    History Building 200, room 203

    4:30pm, Nov. 5, 2015

  • Andrew Mendelsohn, Queen Mary College, University of London

    "Learning in Public: Physicians, Barber-Surgeons, Lawyers, Housewives, Councilors, Neighbors in Early Modern German Communities"

    noon, November 18, 2015
    Building 260 room 252

    Co-sponsored with the CMEMS workshop

  • Brad Bouley, Pennsylvania State

    History Building 260, TBA room 252

    Co-sponsored with the CMEMS workshop

    Tentatively October or November, 2015

  • François Regourd, Université Paris

    title, TBA

    History Building 200, TBA room

    Feb. 8, 2016

  • Rasmus Winther, University of California, Santa Cruz

    Title TBA

    February 25, 2016

    Room TBA

  • Techniques of Meditation, with Hilde de Weerdt, Leiden University

    4:30PM, April 25, 2016

    location TBA

  • Michael Alan Ryan, University of New Mexico

    noon, April 28, 2016
    room TBA

    Co-sponsored with the CMEMS and the Theoretical Perspectives on Middle Ages workshop

  • "Shift CTRL: New Perspectives on Computing and New Media"
    organized by Tom Mullaney and Ben Allen (Modern Thought and Literature)

    May 6-7, 2016

    Location TBA

  • Renaissance of Letters Workshop

    May 13 - 14th, 9am-5pm
    Stanford Humanities Center, Levinthal Hall

    organized by Professor Paula Findlen and Suzanne Sutherland (Middle Tennessee State). Speakers include:

    *Brian Brege (Stanford lecturer)

    *Bill Connell (Seton Hall University)

    *Filippo De Vivo (Birbeck College, University of London)

    *Tamar Herzig (Tel Aviv University):

    *Rosemary Lee (University of Virginia )

    *Jeff Miner (Western Kentucky)

    *Deborah Parker (University of Virginia)

    *Meredith Ray (University of Delaware)

    *Sarah Ross (Boston College)

    *Deanna Shmek (UC Santa Cruz)

    *Roberto Vetrugno (University of Pavia)

    Co-sponsored by the Humanities Center, the Department of History, The Kratter Fund, Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, and Middle Tennessee State.

  • Robert Batchelor, Georgia Southern University

    title TBA

    4:30pm Monday, May 16, 2016

    Location TBA

    Co-sponsored with History Department and CEAS

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