Beyond Disciplinary Borders: History of science and history of art

Day: Friday 6 April


Felicity Henderson (University of Exeter)

Sachiko Kusukawa (Trinity College, Cambridge)

Alexander Marr (University of Cambridge)

Sietske Fransen (CRASSH, University of Cambridge)

Katherine Reinhart (CRASSH, University of Cambridge)

Roundtable Discussion Abstract

One of the disciplines that has benefited enormously from the work of, and working with, art historians is the history of early modern science. Indeed, one might say that looking out of the disciplinary boundary of history of science has been imperative when studying a period where ‘science’ and ‘art’ were not mutually exclusive practices or professions. For the early modern period, there has been fruitful historiographic convergence between history of art and science – a move away from ‘canonical’ heroes, an increased interest in the processes of making, the role of collecting and circulation of objects, and the way in which knowledge and objects travel globally.

The AHRC-funded research project ‘Making Visible: the visual and graphic practices of the early Royal Society’, is a collaboration between historians of science and historians of art that seeks to understand how scientific, observational practices were closely intertwined with graphic practices. In this Round Table, members of this project will reflect on the historical and historiographic synergy between history of science and history of art by focusing on key themes: Kusukawa (observation), Reinhart (copying), Fransen (translation), Marr (epistemic images). The purpose of this Round Table is to discuss potentials of collaborative research, while looking out for potential pitfalls of disciplinary differences.