On the fringes of science? Natural knowledge and its practitioners in early modern Europe, 1450-1650.

Graduate Symposium 27 June 2008 All Souls College, Oxford


Over the early modern period the natural world became one of the privileged objects of interest, study, and trade for a heterogeneous array of individuals across Europe. The investigation and description of this world’s textual and physical form in turn defined a variety of disciplines, professions, and roles. This one-day graduate conference aims to explore those practices and practitioners traditionally kept at the margins of institutional history and its idea of scientific and philosophical knowledge, and now increasingly profiting from historiographical attention. We invite our contributors to think from an alternative perspective and ‘from below,’ revisiting the fields of:

• Natural history

• Medicine and pharmacy

• Alchemy and astrology

• Demonology and magic

This conference is intended for doctoral students and early post-doctoral researchers. Proposals (250-300 words) for papers of thirty minutes in length, accompanied by a short biographical note, should be sent to the organisers Valentina Pugliano ([email protected]), and Johannes Machielsen ([email protected]) by no later than Sunday 20 April.