Science, economy and the power of translation
Date: 13 December 2012
Venue: The Hague, Royal Library
Morning programme, ‘zaal B/C’.
Afternoon programme, ‘colloquiumruimte in de leeszaal Bijzondere Collecties’
Coordination: dr. Michiel van Groesen (UvA)
Open to: PhD candidates and advanced RMA students
Max. participants: 20
Credits: 1 EC
DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES, THIS MASTER CLASS HAS BEEN CANCELLED
Harold J. Cook, professor of History at Brown University, and renowned historian of early modern science will host a master class on the co-production of concepts such as “science” and “economy” in early modern Europe. The master class will be divided into two sessions. In the morning professor Cook will present a keynote lecture on “The co-production of sciences and economies”. Note: this lecture is open to all; registration via email@example.com. The reading materials for this lecture are listed below.The lecture will be followed by a general discussion and Q&A-session with all participants, chaired by Michiel van Groesen (UvA).
The afternoon seminar is exclusively open to PhD researchers and advanced RMa students in the fields of cultural history, history of science, intellectual history, economic history and the history of technology, and will be a hands on, work in progress class. Here the PhD’s and the RMa students will have ample opportunity to present from their own research project or to discuss their intended proposals. PhD’s and RMa’s are expected to attend the entire day. Registration for the master class (link at the top of the page) includes automatic registration for the morning lecture.
This master class is organized in cooperation with the Royal Library in The Hague as part of professor Harold J. Cook’s KB fellowship in the fall of 2012.
Morning session (open to all; familiarity with the reading material is expected)
10:00 welcome and introduction by dr. Michiel van Groesen (UvA)
10:15 Keynote prof. Cook: The Co-Production of Sciences and Economies
One of the most common arguments about science is that it leads to economic development; it is also commonly argued that the rise of science was a critical factor in the rise of the modern economy. The morning keynote and discussion will explore that theme from the viewpoint of the history of northwestern Europe in the early modern period, arguing that rather than either “economy” or “science” producing the other, they were co-produced (to use a phrase associated with Sheila Jasanoff). In doing so, it steps around many current invocations of the causal power of “culture” to explore more materialistic causes, particularly by examining how recent work in economic history might have much to offer those interested in such processes. It takes the position that institutional forms of organization employed by the urban elite to manage their affairs came to place a high value on descriptive matters of fact, which became the chief matters of exchange in their efforts toward both material betterment and reliable knowledge. In giving pride of place to matters of fact in their knowledge systems, it also became possible for urban leaders to imagine a universal form of knowledge, which we often call science. While early modern science is not the same as modern science, the found relationships between it and economy can offer productive avenues for examining sciences and economies in other places and periods. To do so, however, requires that the history of science be brought into a closer relationship with the history of medicine and technology, as well as with economic history, than was common in the late 20th century.
11:00 Questions & discussion – chair: dr. van Groesen
Afternoon session (for PhD researchers and advanced RMa students only):
12:00 Lunch for participants of the afternoon session
13:00 Seminar: the Co-Production of Sciences and Economies (continued), and Information Economies and Knowledge Networks: The Process of “Translation”
The afternoon seminar will focus on two themes, the co-production of sciences and economies as discussed by prof. Cook in his keynote, and the issues related to the process of “translation”. In considering how long-distance exchanges worked, it is relatively easy to think about how people, goods and information moved from place to place across cultural boundaries. But given the recent emphasis in the history of science on localities as the sites for the production of knowledge and the rejection of the term “diffusion” it is harder to see how “knowledge” moves through space. One term employed by Jacques Callon, Bruno Latour, and others, has been “translation,” which directs our attention to processes of representation and audience as well as production. The discussion session will consider processes of “translation” as well as other forms of exchange.
PhD candidates are invited to hand in chapters related to the topics of the morning and/or the afternoon sessions, or both. If you consider your work of distant matter, but still would like to pass it by Hal Cook, please also feel free to register.
14:30 Coffee and tea-break
17:00 end seminar
Assignments and readings
- Introduction to: How Well Do Facts Travel?: The Dissemination of Reliable Knowledge. Ed. Peter Howlett and Mary S Morgan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011.
- Zhang, Qiong. ‘Demystifying Qi: The Politics of Cultural Translation and Interpretation in the Early Jesuit Mission to China’. In Tokens of Exchange: The Problem of Translation in Global Circulations, edited by Lydia H. Liu, 74-106. Durham: Duke University Press, 1999.
- Introduction to: Market Devices. Ed. Michel Callon, Yuval Millo, and Fabian Muniesa. Malden, MA; Oxford: Blackwell Pub./The Sociological Review, 2007.
- Epstein, Stephan R. ‘Craft Guilds, Apprenticeship, and Technical Change in Pre-industrial Europe’. Journal of Economic History 58 (1998): 684-713.
Assignments for PhD researchers
PhD’s are expected to submit a section of their thesis. This could be an already existing chapter, or an essay based upon such a chapter, of max 8000 words (excl. footnotes & bibliography). During the seminar they will give a presentation of no more than ten minutes about this chapter, focusing in particular upon the issues the candidate is struggling with and upon which s/he would like to receive direct feedback. These issues and direct questions for prof. Cook will be described in a half-page cover-letter submitted together with the chapter. In addition, PhD researchers will submit a brief bio and abstract of their chapter.
Deadline for submission of all four elements—cover letter, chapter, bio and abstract—is November 25, 2012.
Assignments for Research master students
To participate in the afternoon session, research master-students will have to submit two assignments. RMa’s will write a scholarly review of max 800 words of prof. Cook’s book Matters of Exchange: Commerce, Medicine and Science in the Dutch Golden Age (Yale UP, 2007). They should further formulate a written question for prof. Cook, of max ½ A4, based on their reading of the four pieces of literature listed above. RMa students will need to score ‘acceptable’ or higher for their book review to receive the 1EC certificate.
Deadline for submission of both book review and question is November 25, 2012.
All materials can be submitted to dr. van Groesen, via Huizingafirstname.lastname@example.org.