Descartes – Huygens Premodern History of Knowledge Colloquium8 mei 2017
Van 11:15 - 13:00uur
On 8 May the Descartes–Huygens Premodern History of Knowledge Colloquium will be held at Huygens ING in Amsterdam. Presenters are Anna-Luna Post MA and Vera Keller (Associate Professor of History, University of Oregon). Hosted by Prof. Mariken Teeuwen, Dr Irene van Renswoude, Eric Jorink, Dr Dirk van Miert and Prof. Arnoud Visser.
VERA KELLER: ‘THE COSMOPOLITAN PROJECT: SEGGET, MORSIUS AND HEGENITIUS BETWEEN REPUBLICS, REPUBLIC OF LETTERS, AND UTOPIA’
The careers of three interrelated learned and political agents from Scotland, Hamburg, and Silesia, respectively, shaped them as cosmopolitans. Thomas Segget, Joachim Morsius, and Gottfried Hegenitius crisscrossed England, Flanders, Holland, Frisia, Italy, the Germanies, Lithuania, and Poland. They offered learned services to scholars such as Galileo, Kepler, Sarpi, Bernegger, Jungius, Heinsius, and Casaubon, to political patrons across enemy lines such as King James I of England, Cardinal Borromeo, Duke August of Braunschweig-Lüneburg, and General Tilly, and to presses.
The Republic of Letters’ ethos of communication competed with their need for secrecy in service to political patrons. However, the intersection of learned and political service also funded, encouraged and shaped their life-long careers as cultural and political agents, and especially, in Morsius’ case, also as pursuers of total learned and political reform. Morsius is best known today as a promoter of various Utopian societies, projects he pursued in intersection with his international career.
After a brief overview of these agents’ careers, Keller will focus on Morsius’ astounding network-generating machine, his album amicorum. This was the tool, bursting at the seams with contacts, secrets and privy information, through which he envisioned paving the way for a wholesale reformation of knowledge and society. Today there is much interest in using modern media to visualize the republic of letters and the circulation of knowledge; the album offers a view of how early moderns envisioned their networks and practices of intelligence.
ANNA-LUNA POST: ‘FAME ON TRIAL: GALILEO GALILEI AS WITNESS, SUSPECT AND PLAINTIFF’
Galileo Galilei is perhaps best known for the trial of 1633. Yet Galileo was already involved in three different trials during his early career: either as witness, suspect, or plaintiff. This paper will investigate these trials (1590-1607) with a specific focus on fame and reputation, and will ask how others constructed and manipulated Galileo’s fame, reputation and credibility. The main focus will be on the plagiarism conflict between Galileo and Baldassare Capra in 1607, in which Galileo claimed to have lost his honour, fame and glory. Post will ask what these concepts meant to Galileo and investigate how other parties helped him in retrieving them.
Additionally, she will discuss the cases of 1590 and 1604, in which Galileo acted as witness and as suspect. The first case offers great insight into Galileo’s early reputation and credibility, whereas the second one presents us with information on the role of the Studio di Padova in managing Galileo’s reputation. By exploring the different strategies taken by several other stakeholders in Galileo’s reputation in constructing, manipulating or protecting Galileo’s reputation, this paper thus aims to present new insights into the mechanics and impact of fame and reputation in the scholarly community.
More information: www.uu.nl