Looking at Images Workshop May & June 2014

Call for Participants: Looking at Images

Posted on behalf of the Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton; see contact information below.

Wellcome Library, London

Wellcome Library, London

We would like to invite postgraduate and early career researchers to take part in an AHRC-funded project: Looking at Images: A Researcher’s Guide. Two workshops are scheduled for those working in the areas of image studies, visual culture, media and communications, and art and design. Together the workshops are aimed at the development of skills and methodologies in image-related research. All participants will be invited to contribute to a collaboratively produced ‘Researcher’s Guide’ e-book, to be launched at the end of the year at the British Library as a key resource for the wider research community.

Workshop 1: Picturing Research / Researching Pictures Wednesday 21 May 2014 Winchester School of Art Full details and booking available online: http://blog.soton.ac.uk/wsapgr/workshop-1/

Workshop 2: Image Research and its Futures Thursday 19 June 2014 Goldsmiths Full details and booking available online: http://blog.soton.ac.uk/wsapgr/workshop-2/

Both events are free, but booking is required. If you have any queries please contact: lookingatimages@gmail.com<mailto:lookingatimages@gmail.com>

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Coping with Copia in Art and Science (2015) call for papers

Coping with Copia:  Epistemological Excess in Early Modern Art and Science

Call for papers for a conference in Montreal, May 14-16, 2015

Fabian Krämer (History of Science, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität
Munich, Germany)  and Itay Sapir (Art History, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada)

Arcimboldo, the Librarian, wikimedia commons

Arcimboldo, the Librarian, wikimedia commons

We are living in an era of unprecedented information overload. This is  one of the most common clichés defining the early 21st century, both in  academic circles and in general public imagery. And, as clichés often  do, this one encapsulates some elements of truth. The Internet era is  indeed, quantitatively at least, the scene of the most formidable
multiplication of readily available information of any kind humanity has  ever experienced. A considerable portion of this information comes in  visual form: we have more and more images and diagrams of all kinds of  things at our disposal, and we often wish – this is perhaps a broader  anthropological phenomenon – to give visual figure to information that is not quintessentially meant to address the eyes.

The “unprecedented” nature of our contemporary overload may be less  clear than we tend to think, however. Some periods in the past were  confronted with a similar cultural situation, considering both the  objective growth in available information and the subjective impression  of living in an era of unprecedented epistemological saturation. An emblematic moment of this kind was the sixteenth and seventeenth century  in Europe, the two centuries that led up to, and witnessed, the now  often contested “Scientific Revolution”, a period characterised also by  geographical expansion and aesthetic subversion. Then, as now, optimism about the prospects of knowledge was inextricably mingled with fears of having “too much to know,” to borrow the title of Ann Blair’s seminal monograph – and of the impossibility of selecting, organizing, and finally making sense of the ever increasing amount of information facing  our early modern predecessors. Then, as now, artists and scholars were at the forefront of the struggle to digest and discipline knowledge – or, conversely, to denounce its overabundance and express our human failure to meaningfully organize what we know. Then, as now, they also unwittingly contributed to the very copia that they so frequently bemoaned.

Indeed, epistemic abundance is a constant challenge to those people whose function in society is to represent different facets of reality. Arguably the two most prominent professions regularly producing visual representations of the world – be they all-embracing or specific, systematic or seemingly random – are those of scientists and visual artists. In their professional universes, more often than not completely separate from one another, practitioners of science and of art try – and have tried in the past – to give form and order to the epistemological saturation around them. Or they strive, on the contrary, to represent precisely the irrepresentability of a multifaceted and seemingly
inexhaustible reality. At the same time, we should not conceive of artists and scientists as purely reactive vis-à-vis the multiplication of available knowledge but, rather, consider their role also in bringing it about in the first place.

The different strategies conceived for the visual representation (or denunciation) of information overload, as well as the sometimes unintentional creation of even more information along the way, will lie at the heart of the conference that Montreal will host in 2015, welcoming historians, art historians, historians of science and of ideas and scholars of related disciplines. While proposed papers for the conference should address the early modern period, sessions will be accompanied by respondents from the field of contemporary science and art, who will comment on the relevance of the historical example to our own time.

In the artistic field, the aesthetic and epistemological strategies of contemporary artists and of painters and sculptors of the late Renaissance, Mannerism and the early Baroque indeed offer fertile ground for comparison, contrasting and mutual illumination. If one can convincingly tell the story of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century art as a series of attempts at visually representing knowledge and at repressing the unbearable complexity of such an enterprise—a narrative that this conference offers to verify and elaborate upon – one can arguably claim that art around 2000 is concerned by a surprisingly
similar predicament and that, conversely, modernity in art has its roots in a relatively distant past.

As for science and its own visual policies, the proliferation of images in contemporary cognitive science, amongst other fields, and the high expectations often attached to them, are reminiscent of a similar upsurge of the use of images in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century natural history, and the simultaneous rise of diagrammatical forms of
representing and ordering knowledge. Visual strategies were used both to visualise epistemic objects and thus generate knowledge about them and to order and parse this knowledge. The concerns with “Big Data” in contemporary science also arguably have a precedent in the attempts of early modern scholars to gather and parse the huge amounts of information on all sorts of “natural particulars” (Grafton & Siraisi) that they gathered and shared through their correspondence networks.

We invite proposals from the history of science, the history of art, and adjacent disciplines. Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words (including the title), for papers in English or in French, to Fabian Kraemer (Fabian.Kraemer@lmu.de) and Itay Sapir (sapir.itay@uqam.ca) by  May 31, 2014.

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3 post-docs in ingenuity in art/science at Cambridge

Genius before Romanticism: Ingenuity in Early Modern Art and Science

Principal Investigator: Dr Alexander Marr (ajm300@cam.ac.uk)

Hosted at CRASSH, University of Cambridge

Francesco Allegrini, Fall of Icarus (C) Fitzwilliam Musuem

Francesco Allegrini, Fall of Icarus (C) Fitzwilliam Musuem

What existed in the European imagination before the Romantic concept of ‘genius’? This five-year project will examine notions of unique talent, heightened imagination and extraordinary creativity in art and science by exploring the language, theories, practices and products of ingenium (ingenuity) ca. 1450-ca. 1750. Drawing on the perspectives of history of art, history of science, technology and medicine, intellectual history and literary studies, the project seeks to capture ingenuity across and between disciplines. Studying six countries (France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, England and Spain) across three centuries, it will trace ingenuity’s shifting patterns and fragmented fortunes over the longue durée.


Three 4.5-year post-docs are available. For further information, see Genius before Romanticims-Further Particulars

Applications open: 1 April 2014

Applications close: 30 April 2014.

Start date: September/October 2014

For information on CRASSH and more opportunities for early modern studies, see: http://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/about/news-press/announcing-eight-new-research-associate-posts-in-the-early-modern-period

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Seminar on illustration and identification at Kew

Thanks to Felicity Roberts for drawing our attention to:

Illustration and Identification in the History of Herbal Medicine

British Library MS Harley 3736/10r. Charlemagne and the plant Carlina

British Library MS Harley 3736/10r. Charlemagne and the plant Carlina

18 June 2014

Organized by Anne Stobart (Herbal History Research Network) and  Frances Watkins (University of East London, UK)

Jodrell Lecture Theatre
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Richmond TW9 3DS
United Kingdom

The aim of this day seminar on Wednesday 18th June 2014 is to bring together researchers to explore issues related to plant illustration and identification in the history of herbal medicine. Correct identification of plants in the past has been of great importance, whether for foods, medicines or other purposes. But to what extent did people in medieval and early modern times learn about plants with medicinal uses from illustrations in herbals or elsewhere? Matters of interest include ways in which illustrations were produced, the role of illustrations, dissemination of information about plant identification, significant observers of plants and their approaches to plant description. This day seminar at Kew Botanic Gardens near London, UK, has been organised with a particular focus on presenting research into finding and interpreting archival and other sources relating to the history of herbal medicine.

Main speakers:

Julia Boffey, Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London

Isabelle Charmantier, University of Exeter

Maria Daronco, University of Udine, Italy

This event is organised by the Herbal History Research Network group which aims to promote research into the history of herbal medicine. The Network helps to connect together people who share common interests in researching the history of herbal medicine through seminars and other events. For further details of the Network contact Anne Stobart at a.stobart@herbaid.co.uk

Please see the supporting material for the day seminar programme and registration form at: http://events.history.ac.uk/event/show/12436?ref=email


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Rare Book School 2014

Rare Books School @ Dibner 2013

Rare Books School @ Dibner 2013

From: Roger Gaksell

I will be teaching a course on the bibliography of scientific images at Rare Book School, University of Virginia, 21 – 25 July.
This course, successfully inaugurated last year, considers the production, formal qualities, and functions of images in scientific books. The focus is on the ways that graphic technologies are combined with the printing of verbal texts and students learn the bibliographical analysis and description of illustrated books. The course should be of interest to all historians of early modern science who wish to gain an understanding of the circumstances of production and the materiality of scientific imagery in printed sources.

For more on the course and Rare Book School please follow the link – there are a number of other courses that will be of interest to readers of this website.


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Visiting Fellowships in Art and Knowledge at the MPI Berlin

Sven Dupre

Sven Dupre

The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin (Max Planck Research Group Art and Knowledge in Pre-Modern Europe; Director: Prof. Dr. Sven Dupré) announces

three junior and senior visiting residential fellowships for up to three months

between January 1 and December 31, 2015. Outstanding junior and senior scholars (including those on sabbatical leave from their home institutions) are invited to apply.

Candidates should hold a doctorate in the history of science and technology, the history of art and art technology or related field (junior scholars should have a dissertation topic relevant to the history of science) at the time of application and show evidence of scholarly promise in the form of publications and other achievements.

Research projects should address the history of knowledge and art up to the eighteenth century (with a preference for the period between 1350 and 1750), and may concern any geographical area within Europe, and any object of the visual and decorative arts. For short descriptions of the projects of the Max Planck Research Group, see http://www.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/en/research/projects/MRGdupre.

Visiting fellows are expected to take part in the scientific life of the Institute, to advance their own research project, and to actively contribute to the project of the Max Planck Research Group Art and Knowledge in Pre-Modern Europe.

The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science is an international and interdisciplinary research institute (http://www.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/en/index.html). The colloquium language is English; it is expected that candidates will be able to present their own work and discuss that of others fluently in that language. Fellowships are endowed with a monthly stipend between 2.100 € and 2.500 € (fellows from abroad) or between 1.468 € and 1.621 € (fellows from Germany), whereas senior scholars receive an honorary commensurate with experience.

The Max Planck Research Group Art and Knowledge in Pre-Modern Europe is also accepting proposals for non-funded Visiting Fellowships from one month to a year. These are normally open to junior and senior post-docs who have external funding. For projects highly relevant to the research platform of this Max Planck Research Group, Sven Dupré will support a limited number of applications for funding at organizations such as Fulbright, DAAD, and the Humboldt Society.

Candidates of all nationalities are encouraged to apply; applications from women are especially welcome. The Max Planck Society is committed to promoting handicapped individuals and encourages them to apply.

Only electronic submissions will be accepted. Candidates are requested to submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae (including list of publications), a research proposal on a topic related to the project (750 words maximum), one sample of writing (i.e. article or book chapter) and two names of referees who have agreed to write a letter of recommendation




Deadline for submission: 1 April 2014

For questions concerning the Max Planck Research Group on Art and Knowledge in Pre- Modern Europe, please see http://www.mpiwg- berlin.mpg.de/en/research/projects/MRGdupre or contact Sven Dupré (officedupre@mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de); for administrative questions concerning

the position and the Institute, please contact Claudia Paaß (paass@mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de), Head of Administration, or Jochen Schneider (jsr@mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de), Research Coordinator.

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part-time editorial post for Art and Knowledge Group at MPI Berlin

The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science is seeking to appoint an

Willem II van Haecht, The Cabinet of Cornelis van der Geest, 1628. Antwerp, Rubenshuis.

Willem II van Haecht, The Cabinet of Cornelis van der Geest, 1628. Antwerp, Rubenshuis.

Editorial assistant part-time (50%).

The post is tenable from April 1, 2014 (earlier start negotiable) until September 30, 2016. The newly appointed colleague will join the team of the Max Planck Research Group “Art and Knowledge in Premodern Europe, ” (Director: Prof. Dr. Sven Dupré). Candidates with experience in academic management and editorial tasks in a university, research institute or academic publishing environment, a working knowledge of German and excellent written and spoken English are invited to apply: native English speaker preferred. We are seeking a colleague with a genuine interest in academic work and basic historical knowledge. Candidates are expected to have comprehensive digital literacy (EndNote, Zotero, PhotoShop and Office), internet skills and the ability to work in a team and to contribute to collegiality.

Job profile

The set up and day to day management of academic publication projects, articles, reviews, and edited volumes, to be executed by yourself with the support of a student assistant. Responsibilities include email correspondence with authors and publishers, proofreading, copy editing, formatting according to publishers style sheet, and the creation of shared bibliographies and indexes. In addition image research and acquisition of both digital files and permission to publish plays an important role. Maintaining the web presence of the publication projects on the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science website rounds off your duties.

We offer

A highly diversified and fascinating task in a family friendly and international atmosphere. Salary will be within the range of TVOD 10, bandwidth see http://oeffentlicher-dienst.info/c/t/rechner/tvoed/bund?id=tvoed-bund-2013; part- time (50%).

Candidates of all nationalities are encouraged to apply. The Max Planck Society is committed to promoting handicapped individuals and encourages them to apply.

Only electronic submissions will be accepted. Candidates are requested to upload a cover letter, curriculum vitae including references (Zeugnisse) and certificates of qualification on:


by Feb 24, 2014.

For questions concerning the Max Planck Research Group on Art and Knowledge in Pre-Modern Europe, please see here or contact Sven Dupré. For questions relating to the online application procedure please contact officedupre@mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de. For administrative questions concerning the position or the Institute, please contact Claudia Paaß, Head of Administration, or Jochen Schneider, Research Coordinator.

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Research Assistantship at Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

MINIARE @ Fitzwilliam Museum

MINIARE @ Fitzwilliam Museum

Visitors to this site might recall the colour analysis done to Richard Waller’s colour chart (1686) at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Here is a job opportunity to pursue colour analysis at the Fitzwilliam.

Zeno Karl Schindler/MINIARE Fellow (Research Assistant, non-invasive analysis of illuminated manuscripts) – £24,289 – £27,318

Nine-months contract starting October 2014

The Fitzwilliam Museum houses the principal collections of art and antiquities of the University of Cambridge, and holds over half a million objects in its care. The Department of Manuscripts and Printed Books (MSSPB) preserves one of the finest collections of illuminated manuscripts in the world, one of the most important collections of manuscript and printed music in the UK, fine printed books, literary autographs and archives. The collections total upwards of 132,500 objects: 1,000 illuminated manuscripts and leaves; 1,500 music volumes; 20,000 rare printed books, over 80,000 literary autographs and correspondence, and over 30,000 items in the Museum’s archive.

The successful candidate, supported by the MINIARE Fellowship of the Zeno Karl Schindler Foundation, will join the cross-disciplinary team of the research project MINIARE (Manuscript Illumination: Non-Invasive Analysis, Research and Expertise,www.miniare.org). Based at the University of Cambridge, MINIARE focuses on the non-invasive analysis of materials and techniques as well as the contextual interpretation of medieval and Renaissance illumination.

Under the supervision of MINIARE’s pigment analyst and imaging scientist, the Research Assistant will analyse medieval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts with a combination of non-invasive analytical tools, and contribute to the research underpinning a major exhibition in 2016 which will celebrate the bicentenary of the Fitzwilliam Museum’s foundation. He/she will be trained in the combined, mutually complementary use of different imaging and analytical methods, and become fully aware of the conservation needs of unique and exceptionally fragile manuscripts, as well as of the broader cultural and historical questions that such cross-disciplinary research endeavours to clarify.

Candidates should hold a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in physics, chemistry, materials science or cultural heritage science. Those who have recently completed a PhD in any of these fields will also be considered. They should be familiar with a range of analytical and technical imaging methods (see Further information).

A collaborative, supportive and flexible team working style is essential. The ability to deal with people at all levels and in a professional manner is crucial. A high degree of IT literacy, preferably including the use of software for data acquisition and analysis and image processing, is required. A strong interest in art and art conservation would be an advantage.

Further details and application form CHRIS/6 are available from our website (http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/contact/jobs/article.html?4377), or via email: lmb26@cam.ac.uk or Tel: 01223 764840.

Closing date for applications: 12 noon on Friday 28 February 2014
Planned interview date: w/c 24 March 2014

Interested candidates should complete the CHRIS/6 application form and return with a supporting statement and CV with list of publications to Personnel and Workforce Development Manager, The Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington St, Cambridge CB2 1RB or lmb26@cam.ac.uk

The University welcomes diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity. The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK

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Making and knowing postdoc at Columbia

Here is an opportunity to work with Pamela Smith at Columbia.

Postdoctoral Position   —   call for applications

Wenzel Jamnitzer, ornamental jug, Nuremberg 1570, (c) Munich Residenz Museum

Wenzel Jamnitzer, ornamental jug, Nuremberg 1570, (c) Munich Residenz Museum

The Department of History at Columbia University in the City of New York invites applications from qualified candidates for a postdoctoral position in a Research and Pedagogical Initiative in “Making and Knowing.” The postdoctoral scholar will hold the title of Lecturer in Discipline. In each semester, the successful applicant will co-teach a section of a new course, “Historical Techniques of Making,” which integrates seminar-style discussion and work in a laboratory, and assist in setting up and leading activities in the laboratory; will teach one section of the Introduction to Contemporary Civilization, a central part of Columbia’s signature Core Curriculum, and attend Core Curriculum weekly preceptor meetings as required. The appointment start date will be July 1, 2014. Renewal for a second and third year will be contingent upon satisfactory performance. The starting salary will be approximately $50,000, plus benefits.

A PhD, preferably in history or a cognate discipline (such as art history, conservation or history of science) and significant experience and expertise in laboratory, conservation, or studio work, are required. Knowledge of digital humanities methods will be considered an asset. PhD must be in hand at the time of the appointment and cannot have been awarded prior to July 1, 2011.

All applications must be made through Columbia University’s online Recruitment of Academic Personnel System (RAPS):


Review of applications will begin 6 January 2014 and will continue until the position is filled.

Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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Residential Fellowships on the Marvellous at the JCB

Two-month residential fellowships on the Marvellous at the John Carter Brown Library

Deadline 15 December 2013


Mary, Princess of Orange, oil on canvas, c. 1655 by Adriaen Hanneman, Royal Collection (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Mary, Princess of Orange, oil on canvas, c. 1655 by Adriaen Hanneman, Royal Collection (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Starting in the 2014-2015 academic year, the John Carter Brown Library (JCB) and the Grupo de Investigación de Siglo de Oro (GRISO) will co-sponsor two residential research fellowships a year at the JCB on the theme of the marvelous in the New World. The fellowships will each be for two months, and at the conclusion of the program in 2017, the two institutions will co-host an international conference on the same theme in Providence.

One of the most interesting aspects of the encounter between Europe and the New World was the perception of marvelous things, facts and living creatures in the New World. This started with Columbus himself, who in his first voyage thought he had a glimpse of the sirens and even suspected he could be near Paradise. Lacking any references from biblical or classical sources about the newly discovered lands, Europeans projected old Greco-Roman and local myths and legends into their perceptions of both the human and the physical environment. Frequently they let their imagination reign free by “seeing” things and creatures they wished to find, whether cities made out of gold, lands populated by giants and amazons, or lost continents.

The purpose of this project is to assemble a group of scholars who will advance our knowledge of the topic by analyzing literary, historical, cartographic and artistic production about the early Americas.

The stipend for 2014-2015 will be $2100/month. Funding for one of the fellowships each year will come from the JCB’s Jose Amor y Vázquez Fellowship Fund. Awardees will be expected to produce a scholarly article related to their research at the JCB within one year of the conclusion of their fellowship. They will also be invited to participate in the 2017 conference at the JCB. Otherwise, JCB/GRISO fellowships will be subject to all the same conditions that govern short-term fellowships at the JCB.The deadline for 2014-15 is December 15, 2013.

For further details, see:



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