vendredi 15 décembre 2017

La science de Naples

The Science of Naples: Making Knowledge in Italy's Pre-eminent City, 1500-1700 

Call for Papers

(University College London, Friday 20 April 2018)

Keynote speaker: Prof. David Gentilcore (University of Leicester and Aix-Marseille Université)

Organising committee: Andrew Campbell (UCL), Lorenza Gianfrancesco (University of Chichester) and Neil Tarrant (University of York)

In the early modern period, Naples was one of the most important capitals in Europe. As an international centre of learning, Naples encouraged debates on natural philosophy and science which promoted intellectual networking and the transfer of knowledge. Operating within the university, academies, hospitals, monasteries and private spaces, local scientists researched a variety of topics that included medicine, surgery, anatomy (both human and animal), the art of barbers, and pharmacology.

Scientists and intellectuals also studied the medical implications of other disciplines. Research on medicine and cosmology encouraged the circulation of books on physiognomy, metoposcopy and astrological medicine, which in some cases were placed on the list of prohibited books and had to be published outside Naples.

Moreover, the geological structure of Campania positioned Naples at the forefront of research in disciplines such as paleontology, vulcanology, seismology and environmental studies. The large number of manuscript and printed texts on these subjects produced in the city are testament to its status as a major nexus for the circulation of ideas. This intellectual climate attracted scholars from all over Europe, who corresponded with Neapolitan scientists, visited the city's museums and laboratories, purchased books and frequented local academies.

The importance of early modern Naples is becoming increasingly recognised in current scholarship. Accordingly, this one-day workshop aims to discuss the city's position as a scientific research hub that cut across disciplinary, national and ideological boundaries. We invite proposals for twenty-minute papers, in either English or Italian, which include, but are not limited to, the following themes:
  • Alchemy
  • Cosmology
  • Environmental studies
  • Galen and Paracelsus
  • Local heroes (Giovan Battista della Porta, Marco Aurelio Severino, etc.)
  • Museums and laboratories
  • Science and the body
  • Science, religion and the Inquisition
  • Venues: academies, monasteries, hospitals, university and private spaces.
  • Vulcanology
A limited number of travel bursaries will be available for postgraduate students.

Proposals of no more than 300 words, in either English or Italian, along with a short bio, should be sent to the following address by 21 January 2018:

For further information, see:

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