Workshop Series

The Early Modern Techne Workshop Series will consist of three events during the spring of 2017. Each event will consist of a workshop with three visiting participants to be followed by an object study at the Yale University Art Gallery or the Beinecke Library. All events will be open to the public.

What is Early Modern Techne?

Early Modern Techne, a collaboration across disciplines and geographies, is a project devoted to experimenting with new frameworks for cross-cultural conversation in the study of early modernity. Bringing together scholars of Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and South Asia, as well as China, all studying the period between 1500 and 1800, we aim to approach the idea of “early modernity” not as a historiographical category defined primarily by economics (Weber) or epistemology (Foucault), but rather by focusing on techne—that is, aspects of making specific objects and ideas. By tracing the often surprisingly parallel transformations in technologies, ideas, images, and rhetorics across cultures, we aim to uncover new ways of theorizing the “early modern” within and across specific geographical and cultural contexts.

To do so, we attend to the circulation of objects, people, and ways of thinking, from mercenaries and ambassadors to poets and artisans, from pineapples, porcelain vases, and illuminated manuscripts, to conceptions of desire, skill, selfhood and power. Moving away from large-scale attempts to theorize over-arching shifts from the “medieval” to the “modern,” we seek to explore an alternate approach: to construct an archive of intersecting material histories across the early modern world, grounded in particular, multifaceted cultural analyses. By focusing on the specific emergence, the coming- into-being of objects and ideas, we hope to move beyond an abstracted historical/ philosophical view of the early modern, into one that is spatial, embodied and material.

 

 
 
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Making Bodies, Defining Identities

 

January 27th, 2017

 

1130am-130pm: Workshop Sessions at The Whitney Humanities Center (Lunch Included)

2pm-4pm: Object Study at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library  

Participants:

Carina Johnson (Pitzer College)

"PORTRAITS OF ERASURE: THE EXTRA-EUROPEAN SUBJECT IN SIXTEENTH-CENTURY EUROPE"

Catherine Molineux (Vanderbilt University)

"SELF-EMANCIPATION: AYUBA SULEIMAN DIALLO AND THE ATLANTIC PERFORMANCE OF MUSLIM AFRICAN HISTORY"

Cécile Fromont (University of Chicago)

"BODIES OF INK IN WORLDS OF PAPER: AUTHORS AND SUBJECTS IN EARLY MODERN CENTRAL AFRICA"


Skill

 

March 3rd 2017

 

1130am-130pm: Workshop Sessions at 190 York St. Rm. 251

2pm-4pm: Object Study at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library  

Participants:

Kaya Şahin (Indiana University)

"SELF-FASHIONING AND COMPOSITION SKILLS IN AN OTTOMAN CONTEXT: CELALZADE SALIH (CA. 1493-1565) AND HIS MÜNŞE'AT"

Yael Rice (Amherst College)

"COMMON GROUNDS: COTTON AND CODEX IN EARLY MODERN SOUTH ASIA"

Daniela Bleichmar (University of California)

"CODIFYING MEXICAN INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE, 1552, 1626"

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Technology

 

April 7th 2017

 

1130am-130pm: Workshop Sessions at The Whitney Humanities Center (Lunch Included)

2pm-4pm: Object Study at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library  

Participants:

Carla Nappi (University of British Columbia)

"MANCHU SKIN: METAMORPHIC INSTRUMENTS AND TRANSLATED ANATOMY"

Ben Breen (UC: Santa Cruz/Columbia University)

"'PIPES,' 'PIPAS' AND CACHIMBOS': TRANSLATING TECHNOLIGIES OF SMOKING IN THE EARLY MODERN WORLD"

Bruce Rusk (University of British Columbia) 

"VAPORWARE: HOW THE REDISCOVERY OF BRASS HAS FOOLED THE CHINESE ART MARKET, FROM THE 16TH CENTURY TO THE PRESENT"