Conferences

The Dialectic of Private and Public Knowledge in Early Modern Europe

Date/Time
Friday, April 12, 2019
10:00 am – 5:15 pm

Location
William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
2520 Cimarron Street

conference organized by Rebecca Jean Emigh (UCLA), Dylan Riley (UC Berkeley), Patricia Ahmed (South Dakota State University)

Knowledge is understood to be a social product that is both shaped by and subsequently affects the society from whence it sprang. Bringing together a wide variety of scholars working on different aspects of the social construction of knowledge and different forms containing it, this conference seeks a broader understanding of how this dialectical process works. What makes official efforts at information collection possible? Where did such efforts succeed or fail? How does the collection of information by private or socially located actors connect, or not, to state authority? Under what conditions does official information become “public” information? Presenting findings from a range of locations and time periods, including the early modern period in which science and information gathering were not as routinized as they are now, this conference offers a comparative perspective on how private and public information have been constructed by various social actors.

Speakers

Patricia Ahmed, South Dakota State University
Paola Bertucci, Yale University
Allison Bigelow, University of Virginia
Tom Crook, Oxford Brookes University
Paul M. Dover, Kennesaw State University
Rebecca Jean Emigh, University of California, Los Angeles
Edward Higgs, University of Essex
Tong Lam, University of Toronto
Kathrin Levitan, The College of William & Mary
Jean-Guy Prévost, Université du Québec à Montréal
Dylan Riley, University of California, Berkeley
Eva Hemmungs Wirtén, Linköping University


Image: Composite of Census Frieze detail, From the Campo Marzio, Rome, 2nd century BC, Louvre; Composition VIII, Wassily Kandinsky, 1923, Guggenheim Museum; from Account book with mathematical exercises, Timothy Tyrrell, c. 1760s, Clark Library.


Program

9:30 a.m.
Morning Coffee and Registration

10:00 a.m.
Helen Deutsch, University of California, Los Angeles
Welcome

First Panel: What are the forms of private and public information? The historical packaging of information.
Presider: Dylan Riley, University of California, Berkeley
Discussant: Lori Anne Ferrell, Claremont Graduate University

Paul M. Dover, Kennesaw State University
“Variety and Abundance: Copia and the History of Early Modern Europe”

Kathrin Levitan, The College of William & Mary
“Messengers, Letters, and the Post Office: Private and Public Letter Distribution in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Britain and its Empire”

Rebecca Jean Emigh, University of California, Los Angeles
“Orality and Literacy: A Comparative and Historical Perspective”

Patricia Ahmed, South Dakota State University
“Early Colonial Census Classification in India: The Role of Indigenous Informants, Knowledge and Methodology”

12:00 p.m.
Lunch

1:00 p.m.
Second Panel: What is secret? What counts as public and private? The historical construction of public and private.
Presider: Patricia Ahmed, South Dakota State University
Discussant: Renee Jennifer Raphael, University of California, Irvine

Eva Hemmungs Wirtén, Linköping University
“Pushing the Patented Enveloppe: Secrecy in a Culture of Disclosure”

 Paola Bertucci, Yale University
“The Indocile Artisan: Embodied Knowledge and the Migration of Silk Technology across the British Atlantic”

Edward Higgs, University of Essex
“Public Discourse, Local Knowledge and Enchantment in England, 1500 to the Present Day”

Tom Crook, Oxford Brookes University
“From ‘Old Corruption’ to the Liberal State: Publicity, Privacy, and Secrecy in Britain, c. 1660–1900”

3:00 p.m.
Coffee Break

3:15 p.m.
Third Panel: How does public and private classification work? The historical construction of classification.
Presider: Rebecca Jean Emigh, University of California, Los Angeles
Discussant: Jacob Soll, University of Southern California

Tong Lam, University of Toronto
“The People’s Algorithms: When China’s Big Data Dream Meets the Big Brother”

Dylan Riley, University of California, Berkeley
“Back to the Future? The Past and Present of Immigration, Race, and the Census”

Jean-Guy Prévost, Université du Québec à Montréal
“From Registers to Registers: Past, Present and Future of the Census”

Allison Bigelow, University of Virginia
“Indigenous Technical Literacies and Data Sovereignty: Some Problems in the History of Science and the Digital Humanities”

5:15 p.m.
Reception


Booking Form

Ticket Type Price Spaces
Affiliated Conference Booking
All students (with ID), Friends of the Clark Library, Center & Clark Affiliated Faculty, and UC faculty and staff may attend for free.
$0.00
General Public Conference Booking $20.00