PhD position “Mining for learned identities in the Republic of Letters, 1400-1800”
The Department of History and Art History seeks to appoint a PhD candidate for the project “Sharing Knowledge in Learned and Literary Networks: the Republic of Letters as a pan-European Knowledge Society”, funded by means of an ERC Consolidator grant awarded to Dr Dirk van Miert.
The PhD candidate will be working on the following project: “Mining for learned identities, 1400-1800”.
In this project the different ways will be analysed in which early modern scholarly and scientific identities, and the ideals of knowledge they stood for, were collectively (re)defined within the Republic of Letters through cults, monuments, republications, life-writing, dedicatory letters, collective biographies, festivities and other repertoires of fame. The focus is on scholarly memories of exemplary embodiments of the knowledge ideals of the Republic of Letters, and on condemnations of deviant behaviour and practices. The analyses regard the ethics, chronology, materiality, and geography of learned heritage, and the epistemic and moral virtues constructed by means of scholarly memories and identities. How scholars and scientists were celebrated depended on chronological, material, geographical, social and disciplinary contexts. The extent to which learned memories transcended geographical, religious and political boundaries and came to construct ‘European’ identities, is an open question, partly to be answered by means of text-mining of early modern learned texts.