Workshop CFP: Social Technologies and Global Knowledge Economies, 1750-1850

5th to 6th April 2019, Lichtenberg-Kolleg, Göttingen

Conveners: Rachel Koroloff, Laura Nicolì, Joanna Wharton and Dominik Hünniger

The remarkable density of connections that characterized knowledge production between 1750 and 1850 has long figured in definitions of the "rise of modernity." The commerce of ideas through correspondence networks and print as well as manuscript circulation in salons, learned societies and other institutions, has been celebrated as foundational to modernity's more conspicuous highlights, from the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment to the political articulation of universal human rights. Indeed, the circulation of "useful knowledge" – or, in today’s phraseology, the knowledge economy – remains integral to the modern concept of progress, formulated and adopted during the brief period between 1750 and 1850.

This interdisciplinary workshop, organized by Lichtenberg-Kolleg, the Göttingen Institute for Advanced Study, will focus on interrogating these narratives of modernity in the context of the emergence of an array of ‘social technologies’ that enhanced networks of knowledge production and circulation at the turn of the nineteenth century. From communication, transmission, and circulation, to innovations that enabled, impinged upon, or otherwise shaped social relations, we welcome papers on all aspects of socio-technological change and their relation to the development of global economies of knowledge production and circulation from 1750 to 1850.

Program: Social Technologies and Global Knowledge Economies, 1750-1850

Friday, 5th April 2019

From 09:30 Registration
09.45 – 10.00 Welcome

Panel 1 Chair: Patrick Anthony (Vanderbilt University / Lichtenberg-Kolleg)
10.00 – 10.40 Aileen Douglas (Trinity College, Dublin): Bodies, technology, and the naturalization of writing
10.40 – 11.20 Alviera Bussotti (University of Rome “La Sapienza”): Reading aloud in Roman salons and Academies: the case of Vittorio Alfieri (1781-1783)
11.20 – 12.00 Jon Mee (University of York): The Manchester Problem: Bodies and Machines, 1800-1830

12.00 – 13.00 Lunch

Panel 2 Chair: Rachel Koroloff (Lichtenberg-Kolleg)
13.00 – 13.40 Matthew Eddy (University of Durham): Prelude to Objectivity. The Notebook as a Selfmade Social Technology
13.40 – 14.20 Marieke Hendriksen (Utrecht University): Global and local materialities and techniques: Plaster and papier mâché in the production and circulation of anatomical knowledge, 1750-1850
14.20 – 15.00 Gianni Paganini (Università del Piemonte Orientale, Italy): Enlightenment before the Enlightenment. Old media (manuscripts) for new networks (clandestine philosophy)

15.00 – 15.30 Coffee/tea break

Panel 3 Chair: Joanna Wharton (Lichtenberg-Kolleg)
15.30 – 16.10 Mary Fairclough (University of York): Action at a distance: print transmission at moments of crisis
16.10 – 16.50 Amelia Bonea (University of Heidelberg): Technologies of News Making in the Age of Mechanical Telegraphs: The Case of Colonial India, c.1760s-1840s
16.50 – 17.30 Paula Henrikson (University of Uppsala): The social technologies of Swedish philhellenism

17.30 – 17.45 break

17.45 – 18.30 General Discussion Day 1

19.00 Conference Dinner

Saturday, 6th April 2019

Panel 4 Chair: Laura Nicolì (Lichtenberg-Kolleg)
10.00 – 10.40 Nitin Sinha (ZMO, Berlin): Labour and Luxury: Social Comfort and Imperial Rule in India, 1760s-1840s
10.40 – 11.20 José Ragas (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile): Internal Passports, Identification, and the Making of Techno-Citizens in Postcolonial Peru
11.20 – 12.00 Kaustubh Mani Sengupta (Bankura University): Vauban in the Colony: The New Fort William and the Making of Calcutta in the Eighteenth-century

12.00 – 13.00 Lunch

Panel 5 Hanna Roman (Dickinson College / Lichtenberg-Kolleg)
13.00 – 13.40 Simon Werrett (University College London): Joseph Banks and the Social Technologies of Imperial Knowledge
13.40 – 14.20 Pankoj Sarkar (Tata Institute Social Sciences, Mumbai): Evolution of Modern Agricultural Experimental Stations, its Knowledge Production and the Native Tongue: A Perspective from Colonial Bengal
14.20 – 15.00 Patrick Anthony (Vanderbilt University / Lichtenberg-Kolleg): Plants as social technologies of scale: The industrial botany behind Alexander von Humboldt’s plant geography

15.00 – 15.30 Coffee/tea break

Panel 6 Chair: Chair: Dominik Hünniger (University of Hamburg)
15.30 – 16.10 Hanna Hodacs (Dalarna University, Sweden): To trade, transfer or substitute? Naturalists, East India companies and the future of tea in the late 18th and early 19th centuries
16.10 – 16.50 Noah Moxham (University of Kent): Managing the management: the East India Company and the circulation of scientific knowledge, 1750-1800
16.50 – 17.30 Paul-Arthur Tortosa (European University Institute, Florence): Knowledge transmission in an imperial context: the French “Bureau de police sanitaire” and its Italian correspondent

17.30 – 17.45 break

17.45 – 18.30 General Discussion Day 2

If you are interested in participating in the workshop please register via email with Jan-Wilke Brandt until 15th March.