Kathleen Crowther, History of Science
This course explores the “Scientific Revolution” of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In this period there were a series of dramatic shifts in understanding of the natural world, including the replacement of geocentric cosmology with heliocentric, the rise of experimental methods, and the development of new techniques for observing and describing natural objects. Fifty years ago, historians of science located the birth of modern science in this period, but there is no longer a clear consensus among historians of science on when and why the Scientific Revolution happened, who and what it involved, or even if it happened at all. These debates are not just about what happened in the past but about how we today define science and how we understand the place of science in the modern world. In this course we will explore some of the different definitions and interpretations of the Scientific Revolution through an in depth examination of the lives and work of four men: Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), Paracelsus (1493-1541), Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), and Francisco Hernandez (1514-1587). This course is designed both for students in the sciences with little background in history and of students in the humanities who have little experience with science. For the former, we will situate the development of scientific ideas and practices within broader historical contexts, such as Renaissance humanism and the Reformation. For the latter, the course will demonstrate the importance of science in the development of the modern world. The University of Oklahoma has one of the finest collections of rare books in the history of science in the world. Additionally, in the Fall of 2015, a university-wide exhibit entitled “Galileo’s World” will open. I intend to integrate many parts of this exhibit into the course. The invited speakers all have areas of expertise that connect to both the course and “Galileo’s World.” In addition to enriching the students’ experience, these experts will provide public lectures that will enable members of the university community and general public to gain deeper appreciation of the many facets of the exhibit and of the connections between science, art and the humanities.
Five Shades of Gray: Galileo, Goltzius, and Astronomical Engraving
Professor, Princeton University
Eileen Reeves has a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Stanford. She is currently a Professor and the Chair of Comparative Literature at Princeton University where she is also an Associate Member of the Program in the History of Science. Her research is at the intersection of early modern literary studies, the history of art, and the history of science. Much of her research has focused on the figure of Galileo Galilei and his relationship to astronomy, religion, optics, art, and a range of literary forms, including the scientific treatise and dialogue, poetry, dialect literature, journalism, and drama. Her most recent book is Evening News: Optics, Astronomy and Journalism in Early Modern Europe (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014). With Albert Van Helden she co-authored On Sunspots (University of Chicago Press, 2010). Galileo’s Glassworks: The Telescope and the Mirror was published by Harvard University in 2008. Her first book was Painting the Heavens: Art and Astronomy in the Age of Galileo (Princeton, 1997).
Astronomy, Astrology, and Poetics in Seventeenth-Century Rome: Margherita Sarrocchi’s Letters to Galileo
Professor, University of Delaware
Meredith Ray is Associate Professor of Italian at the University of Delaware with a joint appointment in the Department of Women & Gender Studies. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Her research interests include gender and early modern scientific culture, epistolary writing, convent culture, women's writing in the Seicento, and contemporary fictions of Renaissance Italy. She is the author of Writing Gender in Women's Letter Collections of the Italian Renaissance (Toronto, 2009), which was awarded an American Association of Italian Studies Best Book Prize; and the co-editor of Arcangela Tarabotti's Lettere familiari e di complimento (Turin, 2005) and Arcangela Tarabotti: Letters Familiar and Formal (Toronto, 2012). Her most recent book is Daughters of Alchemy: Women and Scientific Culture in Early Modern Italy (Harvard University Press: 2015). She serves on the executive committee of the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women (SSEMW), the editorial board of the University of Chicago Italian Women Writers Project, and as Italian Literature Track Director for the Sixteenth Century Studies Society and Conference (SCSC). She has been the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Foundation, the American Association of University Women, the Renaissance Society of America, and the Penn Humanities Forum. She was a 2013-2014 Research Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania's Alice Paul Center.
Advising Princes and Princesses: The Many Lives of Renaissance Astrologers
Senior Lecturer, University of Edinburgh
Monica Azzolini has an MPhil and PhD from the University of Cambridge. She is currently a Senior Lecturer in European History at the University of Edinburgh in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology. Her research interests are at the intersection of the history of science and the cultural and political history of Italy in the Renaissance. She is particularly interested in how 'scientific' knowledge is produced and circulates in early modern societies. She explores how this knowledge shaped the lives of early modern men and women in practical ways. Within this broader framework she has recently concentrated on the practice of astrology within Italian Renaissance courts to illustrate the many ways in which astrological counsel was used to shape both public and private action. The outcome of this research has now appeared in The Duke and the Stars: Astrology and Politics in Renaissance Milan (Harvard University Press, 2013) and a series of related articles.
The Alchemist as Virgin Mary: Anna Zieglerin & the Lion's Blood
Associate Professor of History, Brown University
Tara Nummedal (PhD, Stanford, 2001; MA, University of California, Davis, 1996; BA, Pomona College, 1992) is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the History Department. She is the author of Alchemy and Authority in the Holy Roman Empire (University of Chicago Press, 2007) and is currently completing her second book, "The Lion’s Blood: Alchemy, Gender, and Apocalypse in Reformation Germany." She recently served as guest editor of “Alchemy and Religion in Christian Europe,” Special issue, Ambix 60, no. 4 (November 2013). Her work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Chemical Heritage Foundation, and, most recently, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. She is Past President of the New England Renaissance Conference and a member of the editorial board of the journal Ambix.
Traveling and Instructions in the Making of Modern Science (1550-1650)
Associate Professor, Colgate University
Antonio Barrera has a BA (1989) and MA (1992) from the Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia, and a Ph.D. (1999) from the University of California, Davis. He is currently an Associate Professor of History and Africana & Latin American Studies at Colgate University. His research specialties are early modern Spanish history, early modern European history, history of science, and Atlantic world history. He has written on sixteenth-century science in Spain and America, including natural history, medicine, explorations, navigation, and cosmography. His first book was Experiencing Nature: The Spanish American Empire and the Early Scientific Revolution (University of Texas Press, 2006). His articles have appeared in Colonial Latin American Review and in various edited collections.
Creating a New World: Nature, Knowledge, and Power in the Early Modern Caribbean
Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Pablo Gómez’s work examines the history of medicine and corporeality in the early modern African and Iberian Atlantic worlds. Dr. Gómez’s current book project explores belief making and the creation of evidence around the human body and the natural world in the early modern Caribbean. He holds an MA and PhD in History from Vanderbilt University. Before becoming an historian, Dr. Gómez earned his MD at the Universidad CES and did his residency in Orthopaedic Surgery at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. Pablo has been the recipient, among others, of an ACLS-Early Career Fellowship, an ACLS-Mellon Dissertation Completion Fellowship, three Major Project Grants from the British Library, a John Carter Brown Library Paul W. McQuillen Fellowship, and an Elizabeth Crahan and K. Garth Huston Fellow from the Huntington Library. One of his articles, “The Circulation of Bodily Knowledge in the Seventeenth-century Black Spanish Caribbean,” published in the August 2013 issue of the Social History of Medicine, was the recipient of the 2014 Andres Ramos Mattei-Neville Hall Biannual Best Article Prize by the Association of Caribbean Historians.