‘Knowledge and War: Paper Technologies in Early Modern Empires’ – gloknos Annual Lecture Series

28 February 2019, 17:00 - 19:00

Room SG1 & SG2, Alison Richard Building, Cambridge, CB3 9DT

gloknos is delighted to welcome Dr Erica Charters (University of Oxford) to present a lecture as part of our annual series.

Although often overlooked by historians of science and knowledge, war was a key context for knowledge creation, transmission, and testing.  This paper examines how knowledge of manpower – the most precious natural resource in early modern empires – was developed, recorded, and communicated across European empires.  Applying methods from the history of science that examine the structure and nature of knowledge, this paper argues that military records should be seen as technologies of knowledge.  That is, these records shaped perceptions of how victory should be measured and presented, what was a reasonable cost of war and, more generally, what was valuable: what counted to both military and imperial officials.
 



Dr Erica Charters is Associate Professor in Global History and the History of Medicine at the University of Oxford.  Her research examines how war and disease intersect with state formation and state power, particularly in colonial contexts. Her 2014 monograph Disease, War, and the Imperial State traces how responses to disease shaped military strategy, medical theory, and the nature of British imperial authority.  Her current research focuses on manpower during the eighteenth century, examining the history of bodies as well as the history of methods used to measure and enhance bodies, labour, and population as a whole.  She is particularly interested in reconciling Enlightenment histories of a cosmopolitan Europe with military histories that portray the eighteenth century as a period of near-constant military conflict, in part by tracing how colonial war was a crucial part of Enlightenment intellectual developments. 

Attendance is free but spaces are limited, so please email to reserve your seat. 

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gloknos is initially funded for 5 years by the European Research Council through a Consolidator Grant awarded to Dr Inanna Hamati-Ataya for her project ARTEFACT (2017-2022). ARTEFACT is funded by the European Research Council under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (ERC grant agreement no. 724451). For information about gloknos or ARTEFACT please contact the administrator in the first instance.


19 October 2018

Prof David Edgerton (King's College London): Turning the global history of ‘technology’ upside down: the supremacy of Uruguay

4 December 2018

Prof Eleanor Robson (University College London): Geographies of knowledge in ancient and modern Iraq: the Nahrein Network and the intellectual infrastructure of heritage

23 January 2019

Dr Sujit Sivasundaram (University of Cambridge): In the Bay of Bengal: Modelling Empire, Globe and Self

In conjunction with the Centre for South Asian Studies Seminar Series

28 February 2019

Dr Erica Charters (University of Oxford): Knowledge and War: Paper Technologies in Early Modern Empires

8 March 2019

Prof Rebecca Earle (University of Warwick): The Political Economy of Nutrition in the 18th Century

8 May 2019

Dr Johan Östling (University of Lund): Circulating Public Knowledge: Towards a New History of the Postwar Humanities

14 June 2019

Dr Sonja Brentjes (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science Berlin)