[Humanist] 30.597 events: Science and Connoisseurship

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Wed Dec 21 10:29:16 CET 2016

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 30, No. 597.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2016 23:34:50 +0000
        From: Alexander Wragge-Morley <awraggemorley at GMAIL.COM>
        Subject: BSHS Panel on Science and Connoisseurship: CFP

Dear All,

Michael Bycroft and I are seeking speakers for a session on science and 
connoisseurship that we are organising for the BSHS Annual Conference in 
July. Please see the CFP below for details, and feel free to circulate 
it widely. We hope some of you will find it interesting!

Call for Papers: Session proposal organised by Michael Bycroft and Alex 

British Society for the History of Science Annual Conference, 6-9 July 2017

Science and Connoisseurship: New Perspectives

This session seeks to open up new directions in the growing field of 
research examining the connections between science and connoisseurship. 
Historians have generally examined these connections by focusing on 
well-recognised moments in the emergence of 'art' as a category in 
European thought, for instance by revealing the role of the Royal 
Society of London in providing an institutional foundation for the arts 
in the late 17th- and early 18th centuries, or by examining the 
appropriation of artistic discourses and practices by scientific 
practitioners in the Italian Renaissance. However, we would like to open 
up the field to new lines of inquiry, reflecting recent developments in 
historiography and theory.

These could include: 1. What can we learn by studying practices for 
assessing the quality of material things, including art objects, 
gemstones, scientific instruments, military equipment and consumer 
goods? 2. Was connoisseurship an embodied discipline? To what extent (if 
ever) were embodied practices for assessing art objects abandoned? 3. 
Why did medics play such a crucial role in the emergence of 
connoisseurial practices? 4. What can be done to combine the history of 
connoissership with the history of regulatory institutions, from the 
Bureau de Commerce in eighteenth-century France to the FDA in 
twentieth-century America? 5. Which sciences drew on the practices of 
connoisseurship? Historians often look at medicine and natural history 
in the context of connoisseurial practices. But what about 'harder' 
sciences such as mathematics, physics, astronomy and chemistry? And what 
about the human sciences? 6. To what extent did practices for evaluting 
works of art inform the sciences in non-European contexts? Do questions 
about the connections between science and connoisseurship depend on 
European understandings of the disciplinary distinctions between art and 
science? 7. Were the practices of connoisseurship implicated in the 
emergence of 'scientific' theories of race? 8. Did connoisseurial 
practices play a significant role in the sciences of the 19th and 20th 

If you are interested in participating in this panel, please send a 
paper abstract of no more than 250 words and a brief bio to either/both 
Michael Bycroft (M.Bycroft at warwick.ac.uk) or Alex Wragge-Morley 
(alexander.wragge-morley at ucl.ac.uk) by 10 January 2017 at the latest. 
This will give us time to put the final session together ahead of the 
BSHS's final deadline of 19 January.

All the best,


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