Exploring Traditions: Sources for a Global History of Science
University of Cambridge 30 November 2013

CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DT – SG1&2

This workshop is the second in a series that continues an important set of debates and reflexions on the interaction between histories of the sciences and models of global history. These debates ask fundamental questions about what science has meant on the global stage and how sciences have come to take form through global confrontations, connections and politics. The first workshop marked the visit to Cambridge of two scholars from South Africa and India: Prof. Keith Breckenridge (Witwatersrand) and Prof. Irfan S. Habib (Delhi). The keynote speakers at the second workshop will be Dr. Lauren Minsky (NYU, Abu Dhabi) and Dr. David Lambert (Warwick). An aim of these workshops is to link UK-based scholars with those working elsewhere in the world on questions of the sciences’ past. The network is also connected with the Centres of South Asian Studies and African Studies and the Faculty of History and the Department of History and Philosophy of Science in the University of Cambridge. Papers will be presented by post-graduate students and by post-doctoral scholars. Lambert will discuss his new book from Chicago University Press. We hope that students and scholars engaging with histories of science from different vantage points and at different stages will attend.


9.30 – 10.00    Registration

10.00 – 11.15  

   Rohan Deb Roy: An unseen, awful visitant”: The Production of Burdwan fever, c. 1870-74

   Michael Sugarman: The plague, medicine, and nationalist politics in Bombay, 1896-1916

11.15-11.45     Coffee break

11.45 – 13.00  


   David Maxwell: From iconoclasm to preservation: Pentecostal missionaries and colonial science in Belgian Congo

   Tom Smith: Protestant missionaries, islanders, and the cosmology of time in nineteenth-century Polynesia

13.00 – 14.00   Lunch

14.00 – 14.45  


   Lauren Minsky (NYU, Abu Dhabi): Commerce and the cult of Khizr: foregrounding a longue durée sacred geography of healing in the wider Indian Ocean world

14.45 – 15.30  

   Arthur Asseraf (Oxford): How do you solve a problem like Algeria? Colonistics, demographics and the science of settling, 1830-1962

   Maziyar Ghiabi: Narcotic Iran: medicine, consumption and abuse in modern Iranian history
15.30 – 16.00   Coffee break

16.00 – 16.45  


   David Lambert (Warwick): Mastering the Niger: James MacQueen’s African geography and the struggle over Atlantic slavery