Two Post-doctoral posts in the graphic and pictorial practices of the early Royal Society

Richard Waller's  study of plants (C) The Royal Society

Richard Waller’s study of plants (C) The Royal Society

Making Visible: the graphic and pictorial practices of the early Royal Society (CRASSH, University of Cambridge)

2 x Postdoctoral Associates, starting 1 September 2015, for 3.5 years

Deadline: 8 April 2015.  Online application at: CRASSH

This AHRC-funded project examines the roles visual resources and practices played in the development and dissemination of scientific knowledge in the first fifty years of the Royal Society (1660-1710). It is an interdisciplinary project led by Dr Sachiko Kusukawa (history of science), with Dr Felicity Henderson (literature and material culture) and Dr Alexander Marr (history of art) as co-investigators. How did drawings, diagrams, tables and charts come to be used alongside words and objects by a group of people who hoped to reform and establish a new form of knowledge of nature, based on collaboration, experimentation and observation? In what ways did it mark the emergence of a scientific visual culture in the early modern period?

The project involves extensive archival research at the Royal Society, study sessions in historical graphic techniques and instrumentation, academic workshops involving international scholars, and interviews with curators and specialists. It also has an ambitious program of public engagement activities, including an exhibition in 2018 at the Royal Society. The findings of the project team will be disseminated through journal articles, a volume of essays, a co-authored monograph, blogs and pod-casts on the project website, as well as in public lectures, workshops and conferences. The project is looking for two PDRAs, one with a background in history of science and the other in history of art, who will collaborate closely.

The project is based at CRASSH, which also hosts Dr Alexander Marr’s ERC Project, Genius Before Romanticism: Ingenuity in Early Modern Art and Science and Dr Subha Mukherji’s ERC project, Epistemic Intersections in Early Modern England: the Place of Literature.

Download a Project Description

This post is suited to scholars in the early stage of their careers who have research experience in either history of art or history of science of the period, and are able to conduct archival research, have or are willing to acquire additional skills (e.g. drawing, printmaking techniques, object-handing, and use of historical instruments) by working with specialists and curators, and are familiar with digital media (database, blogs, websites, podcasts, social media).

The RAs are expected to conduct archival research (mainly at the Royal Society), generate and maintain data on a picture database, work effectively with a wide range of curators and specialists through study sessions and interviews, write research papers (a minimum of two papers during the project), participate in international workshops, assist in editorial work of project publications, generate content for the project website, collaborate on an exhibition to be held at the Royal Society, give gallery talks in that exhibition, plan, arrange and take part in the project’s public engagement activities. They will work closely with the investigators.


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