Exploring Traditions: Sources for a Global History of Science

30 May 2014, 09:00 - 18:00

CRASSH (SG1&2)

Register online via the link at the top right hand side of this page
Conference fee: £20 (full), £10 (students) - includes lunch and tea/coffee
Deadline: Tuesday 27 May 2014

Conveners

Sujit Sivasundaram (History)
Simon Schaffer (History and Philosophy of Science)

Summary

This workshop is the third in a series that continues an important set of debates and reflexions on the interaction between histories of the sciences and models of global history. These debates ask fundamental questions about what science has meant on the global stage and how sciences have come to take form through global confrontations, connections and politics. The workshops have been tied to visits to Cambridge by scholars from South Africa, India and also the Middle East. This third workshop will coincide with the visit of Prof. Dhruv Raina (JNU). An aim of these workshops is to link UK-based scholars with those working elsewhere in the world on questions of the sciences' past. The network is also connected with the Centres of South Asian Studies and African Studies and the Faculty of History and the Department of History and Philosophy of Science in the University of Cambridge. The need for a global history of science emerged from a series of critiques about the map of the history of science. It was felt that European materials and languages had dominated the telling of science's past. There was the criticism that if the wider world emerged in narrations of the history of science it did so in the name of European expansion and empire. Attention was paid to how scholars in other parts of the world had generated nationalist accounts of their intellectual history in responding to European narrations. And there was the theoretical problem that European approaches to the history of science, privileging practice theory or actor-network theory, were being expanded elsewhere. The turn to the global has been refreshing and politically important but has generated a series of counter-questions. Does the global flatten space in histories of science? Does the global present a view from nowhere without taking locality seriously? How can radically different sorts of knowledge traditions be brought together? How should historians of science deal with fault-lines between regions, or oceans and lands, or cities and hinterlands? We hope that students and scholars engaging with histories of science from different vantage points and at different stages will attend.

Sponsors

 

Supported by the Centre for Research in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CRASSH) and the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Co-sponsored by the CRASSH Research Group on ‘Global Science’

 

Administrative assistance: conferences@crassh.cam.ac.uk

9.30-10.00

Registration

10.00-10.45

KEYNOTE 1

  • Professor Dhruv Raina (JNU, India): "Two Historians, Several Nationalists": Needham Encounters the History of Science in India (1946-1960)

​Chair: Richard Staley

10.45-11.15

Coffee break

11.15-12.30

ROUNDTABLE ON "REINSERTING THE GLOBAL TURN INTO HPS"
with Devyani Gupta, James Hall, Tom Simpson and James Poskett.

Chair: Jim Secord

12.30-13.30

Lunch

13.30-14.15

KEYNOTE 2

  • Dr Shruti Kapila (University of Cambridge): A genealogy of the sciences of the mind and the self in colonial India

​Chair: Simon Schaffer

14.15-15.30

EARLY MODERN GLOBAL SCIENCES

  • Samir Boumediene (Université de Lorraine): The appropriation of AmerIndian medicinal plants by Missionaries in Spanish America (16c-18c)
  • Professor Raina (JNU, India): ‘A Neglected Field: Studying the Jesuit Sciences in the 17th and 18th Century India’

Chair: Lauren Kassell

15.30-16.00

Coffee break

16.00-17.30

ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION ON ‘GLOBAL HISTORIES AND BEYOND’ 
with Kapil Raj, Lawrence Dritsas, Rohan Deb Roy and Sarah Hodges.

Chair: Sujit Sivasundaram