Atlantic Knowledges: The Sciences and the Early Modern Atlantic World

Friday, February 25, 2005–Saturday, February 26, 2005
All Day

William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
2520 Cimarron Street

—a conference organized by Margaret C. Jacob, University of California, Los Angeles; James Delbourgo, McGill University; and Nicholas Dew, McGill University

How did the natural sciences shape the Atlantic world, and how did the Atlantic shape the sciences? This symposium is the first to discuss the simultaneous creation of natural knowledge and the Atlantic world in early modern Spanish, Portuguese, French, British and Dutch colonial experience. Instead of assuming a purely metropolitan or colonial perspective, Atlantic Knowledges places transoceanic and intercultural processes center-stage. The program explores the complex relations between heterogeneous knowledges and distinct colonial experiences before science and empire respectively assumed their more stable modern forms.

Session 1: Networks and Circulations
Chair: Mary Terrall, University of California, Los Angeles

Alison Sandman, University of Southern California/Huntington Library Early Modern Studies Institute
“Controlling Knowledge: Propaganda, Piracy, and Protectionism in the Iberian Atlantic”

Nicholas Dew, McGill University
“The Geography of Precision in the French Atlantic World, c. 1670–1740”

Joyce E. Chaplin, Harvard University
“Circulations: The Anglophone Atlantic as Medium and Message”

Session 2: Powers and Identities
Chair: Pamela Smith, Pomona College

Ralph Bauer, University of Maryland
“The Magus Abroad: Occult Knowledges in the Sixteenth-Century Atlantic World”

James Delbourgo, McGill University
“Electrifying the Atlantic World”

François Regourd, Université Paris X – Nanterre
“Caribbean Mesmerism: Animal Magnetism on the Eve of the Haitian Revolution”

Session 3: Terrains and Resources
Chair: Maria-Elena Martinez, University of Southern California

Antonio Barrera, Colgate University
“Atlantic Natural Histories: Collecting Nature, Translating Books”

Júnia Furtado, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais – Brazil
“Tropical Medicine and Universal Knowledge: Brazilian Doctors and Their Books”

Neil Safier, University of Michigan
“Insanity in El Dorado? The Folious Itinerancy of Joseph de Jussieu’s Botanizing”

Session 4: Geographies and Representations
Chair: Deborah Harkness, University of Southern California

Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra, State University of New York, Buffalo/University of Texas Harrington Faculty Fellow
“Colonization as Spiritual Gardening: Toward a Pan-American Atlantic”

Benjamin Schmidt, University of Washington
“Neutralizing Nature in America: Dutch Exotic Natural History Circa 1700”

Jan Golinski, University of New Hampshire
“Enlightenment Climatology and the Problem of America”

Roundtable Discussion
Moderator: Anthony Pagden, University of California, Los Angeles