15 Apr 2020 5:00pm - 7:00pm Room SG1, Alison Richard Building, Cambridge, CB3 9DT


*This event has been cancelled. We apologise for the inconvenience and hope to reschedule the lecture in our 2020-2021 series*

gloknos is delighted to welcome Dr Sonja Brentjes (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science Berlin) to present Heavens and Earth: An Empirical Approach to Knowledge Across Cultures as part of our annual lecture series. This event was rescheduled, from 14 June 2019.

In my talk I wish to make a case for strengthening empirical studies of knowledge available across cultures without anchoring it in any specific theoretical approach. Over the years, I have come across an increasing number of theory-guided studies of knowledge transfer across the Old World or between the Old and New World that produced results contradicting empirically derived knowledge about such processes. As one step to regain a better empirical grounding of our theoretical debates and to overcome dichotomic evaluations of cross-cultural movements of knowledge, we are currently undertaking an interdisciplinary long-durée project for most parts of the Old World about visual representations of the heavens and their relations to materials, narratives, social status, and cultural meaning. I will present this project and some of its themes, objects, and methods. In the second part of my talk I will discuss my earlier work on a number of maps and how those empirical studies changed my outlook on relations between various societies in Europe and in the Islamicate world.

Sonja Brentjes is a historian of science at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, focusing on mathematics, institutions and mapmaking in Islamicate societies until 1700 and cross-cultural encounters in the Mediterranean and western Asia since the eighth century.

Attendance is free but spaces are limited, so please email to reserve your seat. Please be aware that we will take an audio recording of this event, which may include any questions and responses delivered by the audience.

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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.


28 October 2019

Prof Luis Lobo-Guerrero (University of Groningen) – Novelty and the Emergence of the Western Global in the Early Sixteenth Century

10 December 2019

Dr Amanda Rees (University of York) – The Future of History: From Cliodynamics to Degenerative Dystopia, via Science Fiction

7 February 2020

Dr Dag Herbjørnsrud (SGOKI, Oslo) – From Epistemicide to Global Knowledge: Reconstructing a Decolonised Academy

15 April 2020

Dr Sonja Brentjes (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin) – Heavens and Earth: An Empirical Approach to Knowledge Across Cultures

15 May 2020

Prof Sarah de Rijcke (Universiteit Leiden) – Title TBC

15 June 2020

Prof Stéphane Van Damme (European University Institute) – Towards a Global History of Knowledge? Premises, Promises, Concerns

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