Harvard-Princeton 2017


From Authority to Representation: Harvard-Princeton Graduate Workshop on Early Modern History, 2017

Princeton University, February 10-11, 2017

Organized by Ann Blair (Harvard) and Tony Grafton (Princeton)


All sessions will take place in 211 Dickinson Hall, Princeton. Coffee on the 10th and breakfast, coffee and lunch on the 11th will be provided in 210 Dickinson Hall.


Each speaker will have thirty minutes at his or her disposal. Experience has shown that the most profitable way to use this time is to speak for fifteen minutes and leave the other fifteen minutes for discussion. Speakers are strongly urged to follow this model, and cautioned that those who speak longer than a quarter of an hour will have the discussions of their papers abridged.


Friday, February 10

Session I: Royalty Imperiled 2:30-3:30 Moderator Eleanor Hubbard (Princeton)

Tom Toelle (Princeton)

"The Politics of Notification: The Act of Settlement in its Viennese Context"

At a time of dynastic crisis, acknowledging even a letter's receipt could become political. European courts used so called notifications to officially inform one another about major (dynastic) events: a sudden death, a new-born heir, a marriage or a declaration of war. They all took the shape of highly formulaic letters which still abound in early modern archives. Such letters were often long in the making, they traveled slowly, and varied but little in their content. Why, then, would they be worth studying? My paper tells the story how two such notifications - one about the death of king James II in his French exile, the other about the so-called Act of Settlement - became political. A group of envoys and a well-connected secretary at the Emperor's chancellery in Vienna worked together to strategically influence paperwork to suit specific dynastic needs.


Katlyn Carter (Princeton)

Defining Representative Politics: The King’s Trial and the Appel au Peuple

In the winter of 1793, the newly formed representative republic in France weighed whether to ask the population what to do with their deposed king. Having convened only two months prior to the king’s trial, the legitimacy of the National Convention as the voice of the French people was tenuous at best. Some deputies feared that rendering a judgment and deciding a punishment for Louis XVI themselves risked alienating the representative body from a population that may not agree with the decision. Others, however, feared that asking the people at all threatened to undermine the possibility that the National Convention could ever be considered the voice of the people. This paper examines the debate over whether or not to hold the appel au peuple to explain what it revealed about competing conceptions of representative politics at the time. In an immediate sense, the stakes of the debate over the appeal au peuple were strategic: many deputies took their stances based on whether they thought a referendum would save the king’s life. But deputies were also very much aware of the deeper theoretical implications of putting such a critical decision up for popular vote. This paper focuses on the debates over the appel au peuple that took place within the National Convention to explore competing understandings of representative politics and what made it legitimate at this point in the Revolution. It argues that the trial forced deputies to define the relationship between popular sovereignty and representative government in practice. Their ultimate decision against a popular vote on the king’s fate was the strongest assertion yet of a representative government as a supreme voice of the people without ongoing popular involvement in the decision-making process.


Coffee Break 210 Dickinson 3:30-4:00


Session II: The Circulation of Knowledge 4:00-5:30 Moderator Ann Blair (Harvard)

Florin-Stefan Morar (Harvard)

Relocating the Early Qing in the Global History of Science: the Manchu translation of the 1603 World Map by Li Yingshi and Matteo Ricci. 

Abstract: "The Map of Observing the Mysteries of the Heaven and Earth"(兩儀玄覽圖)is a world map in eight panels created in 1603 by the Ming dynasty military official Li Yingshi 李應試, based on an earlier version by the Italian Jesuit savant Matteo Ricci and his friend Li Zhizao 李之藻. This paper focuses on a copy of this 1603 world map which was in the possession of the Manchus of the Later Jin. This copy was used in the Mukden palace before 1644, when the Manchus moved to Beijing establishing China’s last ruling imperial dynasty — the Qing and was inscribed with translations in old Manchu. It matters because it prompts us to rethink the process of circulation of knowledge between China and early modern Europe and re-situate the early Qing in relation to the global history of science.


Richard Calis 

Martin Crusius’ Turcograecia as Ethnographic Archive

Part ethnography, part ecclesiastical history, Martin Crusius’ Turcograecia (1584) forms an eclectic but rich record of the civilization of the Greek subjects of the Ottoman Sultan. Convinced of the precariousness of this civilization and fearing its ‘turkification,’ Crusius wrote to and interviewed ambassadors, itinerant Greeks, his former students, and others for textual, material, and empirical evidence of its remains. The resulting ethnographic documentary record became part of his private —and still extent— archive but also found its way to a broader audience through publication of the Turcograecia. This paper follows Crusius’ book from its inception to its publication and proposes to read it as an ethnographic archive.


Josh Erlich (Harvard)

Warren Hastings, Knowledge, and the Early East India Company State

This paper will consider the politics of knowledge under Warren Hastings, the East India Company's first governor-general of Bengal (1772-85). Hastings' well-known patronage of scholarly activities has come to be seen mainly in terms of a cultural policy of "Orientalism." I will argue instead, however, that it constituted a far more eclectic program that was bound up with the mercantile political languages of the early-modern state. Scholarly patronage served an ideal of good government, conceived according to both Enlightened European notions of trading in knowledge and late-Mughal notions of power-sharing and conciliation. In both cases, it was the product of an early-modern, commercial understanding of the state, to be distinguished from later ideas of unitary sovereignty.


Dinner: 6:00-8:00 Chennai Chimney, 19 Chambers Street, Princeton


Saturday, February 11


Breakfast 210 Dickinson 8:30-9:00


Session 3: Visions of the Past 9:00-10:30 Moderator Tony Grafton (Princeton)

Nate Aschenbrenner (Harvard)

"The Divisio imperii and Byzantium in late medieval and early modern Europe"

 The concept of the divisio imperii and its reception in late medieval intellectual remain little known compared to its celebrity counterpart, the translatio imperii. In this paper I will examine the emergence and subsequent uses of the divisio imperii from the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries, asking in what contexts it was used and what political programs it served. I will also excavate the ideologies of eastern empire inherent in the divisio imperii, and how these ideas affected relations with the declining Byzantine empire. Finally, I will offer some provisional reflections on the significance of divisio imperii for imperial aspirations in a post-Byzantine Europe.


Christian Flow (Princeton)

The Estiennes: Thoughts on the Anatomy of a Philological Contribution

This paper outlines the lives and lexicographical activity of the scholar-printers Robert (1503-59) and Henri Estienne (1531-98). Drawing from their own printed characterizations of their work and a probe of the surviving manuscript revisions to Robert's 1543 Latin lexicon, it aims to reconstruct the process by which the Estiennes assembled their dictionaries, the grid of priorities and values by which they guided and assessed their work, and their means of ensuring the robustness of their conclusions. In the end, the concern is to sketch some of the elements defining a scholarly “contribution” in the Estiennes’ world, and some of the factors believed to lead to the outmoding of philological work.


Martje de Vries ( (Nijmegen/Princeton)

A Hidden and a Forbidden History: Athanasius Kircher on the origins of Latium and Etruria

In late medieval and early modern Europe, authority was based on lineage and ancestry, and literature and art were used to express historical, religious and political claims. In the sixteenth- and seventeenth century, the study of chronology was therefore popular, but also dangerous business, for it could threaten certainty and orthodoxy.

In his Latium (1671), the seventeenth-century Jesuit Athanasius Kircher constructed a history and chronology that emphasized and underlined the contemporary importance of the Catholic Church, for example by stating that the biblical Noah had been the founder of the first settlements in this region. Kircher firmly believed in historical continuity, and he supported the history and chronology of Latium, which he called ‘hidden’ (cf. latere), with biblical and secular sources, mythology, genealogies and etymologies. His aim was to compose the first comprehensive and comprehensible account of Latium’s early history.

However, interestingly enough, Kircher did not focus on the origins of the city of Rome, as many of his antiquarian contemporaries and predecessors did. Kircher focused on the region of Latium, and even excluded its capital from the scope of his study. Why would Kircher choose to treat Latium, and what could have been his purpose in excluding Rome from this treatment?

This paper will demonstrate how Kircher in his Latium used ancient discourses about the past to create a continuous Roman history that underlined the importance of the region as the seat of the universal Church. Subsequently, it will focus on Kircher’s unpublished and lost Iter Etruscum that he wrote as a counterpart to Latium, and the reasons why this manuscript was never published. By concentrating on the published ‘hidden’ history of Latium, and the unpublished ‘forbidden’ history of Etruria, this paper aims to show how chronologies, aetiologies and genealogies were affected and sometimes even motivated by the scholarly, political and religious contexts of the seventeenth century.


Coffee Break 210 Dickinson 10:30-11:00


Session 4: Invisible Collaborators and Evasive Concepts 11:00-12:30 Moderator Ann Blair (Harvard)

Jinsong Guo (Princeton)

 Fixed Stars and the Fixing of Historical Dates: the Question of Chinese Chronology in Jean-Francois Foucquet's Lifa wenda (Dialogue on Astronomical Methods)

Jean-Francois Foucquet (1665-1741), a French Jesuit missionary who worked at the Qing court for 22 years and later Bishop of Eleutheropolis in Palestine, proposed a well-known thesis on Chinese chronology in his Tabula Chronologica Historiæ Sinicæ (1729) and subsequent "Explanation" of the tables published in English in Philosophical Transactions that the reliable epoch of Chinese history was only a few hundred years earlier than the common era, thus discrediting previous Jesuit reports on this matter. However, I have found, in the Chinese manuscript Lifa wenda (Dialogue on Astronomical Methods) attributed to Foucquet, another treatment of Chinese chronology which, in a similarly critical manner, reached quite the opposite conclusion. This chronological discussion, buried in the section on hengxing (fixed stars), employs data from both Chinese and Western historical sources to establish a precise measurement of the procession effect as a basis for dating, and evaluates the results against both Biblical and Chinese-Classical traditions. While unravelling this masterly weaving of texts and techniques, my presentation will hypothetically evaluate the role of Foucquet's invisible Chinese collaborators in order to offer a tentative explanation of the contradiction with the later Tabula Chronologica. I will also comment on how formats of tables feature in the cross-cultural dialogue about dates.


Florencia Pierri (Princeton)

The Rehabilitation of the Unicorn: Imagined and Imaginary Animals in Early Modern Europe

In his Pseudodoxia Epidemica, the English author Thomas Browne admits that people of his age had grown skeptical of the animal commonly described as a unicorn, and of the supposedly magical properties of its horn. Browne, however, took a different approach. He went so far in denying that there was such a thing as a unicorn at all that he affirmed that there were at least 12 different types of them. Using this animal as a case study, this talk will look at late medieval to early modern conceptions of the unicorn in order to come to some tentative conclusions about the conceptual shifts that people in the early modern period made when it came to unusual animals. 


Genie Yoo (Princeton)

The Workings of a “Blind Botanist”: The Ambonese Rumphius and his Inter-Island Information Networks

Living on the island of Ambon from the age of 25 until his death, Georg Everhard Rumphius (1627-1702) explored, experimented, and wrote about the natural world of the Indies while working as an opporkoopman for the Dutch East Indies Company. His knowledge of the flora and fauna of the Moluccas was best encapsulated in two of his now best-known works, the six-volume materia medica Het Amboinsch Kruydboek (“The Ambonese Herbal”) and the three-volume book of curiosities D’Amboinsche Rariteitkamer (“The Ambonese Curiosity Cabinet”). This paper attempts to explore how Rumphius was able to explore the natural world of the Indies through his engagement with local Muslim practitioners of medicine, and how, even in his eventual blindness, he was able to describe and incorporate information about Dutch and Javanese engagements on other islands into his writings about “Ambonese” nature. Within the geographic and temporal contours of this study, circulation of knowledge did not exclusively take the form of a linear trajectory whereby knowledge was collected in the tropical fringes, changed in transit, and consumed in the center. Rather, through the example of Rumphius’ works, this paper investigates how knowledge produced through cross-cultural interactions both drew from and fed into local, overlapping information economies within the Indonesian archipelago before reaching a wider audience in Europe.


Lunch 210 Dickinson 12:30-1:30


Session 5: Challenges to Social Order 1:30-3:00 Moderator Yair Mintzker

Louis Gerdelan (Harvard)

Crime, savagery and inhuman cruelty after disasters in the late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Atlantic world

Current sociological theory tells us that times of severe adversity are occasions in which social cohesion is advanced through the experience of shared suffering and the exercise of good neighbourliness.  By contrast, seventeenth- and eighteenth-century commentators on disaster recorded with horror a breakdown in social order and moral restraint, with a consequent  proliferation of criminal activity.  The looting of abandoned, collapsed or burning buildings and the plundering of shipwrecks horrified contemporaries and threatened the expansion of global commerce.  Early modern British, French and Spanish writers between the 1660s and the 1760s exhibited a fixation on certain types of post-disaster behaviour (while turning a blind eye on other morally questionable activities).  Their anxieties about criminality fed into broader notions of sin and penitence, and also spoke to a deep suspicion of certain segments of society.  The rhetorical tropes of cruelty and inhumanity that they constructed helped to form the basis for a new articulation of the moral responsibilities of humans in disaster situations.


Sally Hayes (Harvard)

The Color of Political Authority in Seventeenth-Century Lima 

Abstract: I center on political claims-making of slaves and free blacks in seventeenth-century Lima. Scholars have long considered there to have been two legal regimes coexisting in colonial Spanish America: the república de indios (which gave indigenous people special responsibilities and protections) and the república de españoles (which applied to Spaniards and their descendants in the New World). Slaves and free blacks nominally belonged to the república de españoles; however, scholars have never conclusively explained how and why this state of affairs came to be, or how Africans conceived of and navigated its intricacies. Did their inclusion qualify freed Africans as royal vassals, naturales (natives of the political community), vecinos (residents or householders), or all of the above? How did inclusion within the república de españoles distinguish them from Indians? What status did it confer? Did it make them Spanish? I hypothesize that the two repúblicas were not so binding as historians have assumed. They were more like frameworks than totalizing systems, and the resulting fluidity allowed slaves and free people to navigate colonial society in creative ways. Negros and mulatos were not part of the república de españoles merely by default, because they were not indigenous; they were often considered such because, according to contemporary criteria, they could qualify as Spaniards.


Paris Spies-Gans (Princeton)

“The Arts are all her Own”: Women Artists' Subject Choices in Revolutionary-era

This paper details the art that women exhibited in London. Contrary to common perception, I would show (with help from an elaborate graph) that women mainly submitted portraits and landscapes—highly marketable pieces. They also consistently exhibited narrative scenes from history and literature, topics that reflected the uppermost Academic genre of history painting and, thus, high artistic ambitions. Overall, I would argue that female artists actively participated in political conversations through their chosen subjects, while also establishing fiscally profitable careers. 







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Harvard-Princeton 2016

Culture, Commerce, Control: The Ninth Harvard-Princeton Early Modern Graduate Workshop
February 5-6,  2016
Harvard University, Lower Library, Robinson Hall
Organized by Ann Blair and Tony Grafton
Friday February 5
Session 1:   1:30-3:30 Cultural Transfer and Reception
Chair: David Armitage
Florencia Pierri (Princeton)
New Remedies for a New World: Animals as Antidotes in Early Modern Pharmacopeia
Jamie Trace (Princeton/Cambridge)
Reading, Translating, and Printing Giovanni Botero in Early Modern England
Stuart M. McManus (Harvard)
Renaissance Humanism and Rhetorical Accommodation in Iberian Asia
Benjamin Sacks (Princeton)
What Borders?’ Espionage of the Colonial City, 1704-1731
3:30-4:00 Coffee/Tea Break
Session 2 4:00-6:00  Histories of Commerce and Capital
Chair: Alexander Bevilacqua
Elizabeth Cross (Harvard)
Financial Scandal and Commercial Politics: the Chambers of Commerce against the Compagnie des Indes, 1787-1788
Fidel Tavarez (Princeton)
The Invention of the Spanish Commercial Empire, c. 1740-1762
Joseph la Hausse de Lalouvière (Harvard)
The restoration of French colonial slavery, 1802-1848
David Moak (Princeton)
L'embarras de richesses: Tourism and Demographic and Economic Growth in Nice (1760-1860)

Saturday, February 6
Session 3 9:00-10:30 Social histories of letters and art
Chair: James Hankins
Asli Gurbuzel (Harvard)
Presenting Manuscripts, Forming Networks: Manuscripts as Gifts in Seventeenth Century Ottoman Empire
Cynthia Houng (Princeton)
The Judgment of Art, or, the Art of Judgment: Connoisseurship on the Marketplace in Early Modern Europe
Paris Spies-Gans (Princeton)
“Her usual style of excellence” – Public Exhibitions and the Rise of the Female Artist in London and Paris, 1760-1830
10:30-11:00 Coffee Break
Session 4 11:00-12:00 Consensus, Control and Dissent
Chair: Michael Tworek
Sonia Tycko (Harvard)
Spirited Beyond the Sea: Persuasion and Consent in the Early English Empire
Nir Shafir (Harvard/UCLA)
Was there an Islamic revival in the seventeenth-century?: Heresy and theories of religious change in the early modern Ottoman Empire

Lunch 12:00-1:00

Session 5 1:00-3:00 Forms of Observation
Chair: Anthony Grafton
Elisabeth (Lisa) Schwab (Princeton/Göttingen)                                                         
On Alberti’s “Panorama of the City of Rome”: An Astronomer’s View?
Christian Flow (Princeton)                                                                               
Philological Observation
Nathan Vedal (Harvard)
Neo-Confucianism and New Ways of Understanding the History of Language in Early Modern China
Paolo Savoia (Harvard)
From Case Narratives to Monograph and Back: Plastic Surgery and Genres of Surgical Writing in Early Modern Europe

Harvard-Princeton 2015

Harvard-Princeton Early Modern Workshop

January 8-9, 2015
Dickinson 211, Princeton University

This year the conference will be held at Princeton University.

Thursday, January 8

Session 1: Numbers and the World. 3:00-4:30 PM

Chair: Jennifer Ranpling (Princeton)

The Geometrical Aesthetic of Lorenz Stöer’s Polyhedra

Noam Andrews (Harvard)

 Surveying Dynasties and Better Societies: The Norwood Family and the Diffusion of Colonial Planning across the British Atlantic World, 1615-1730

Benjamin Sacks (Princeton)


Coffee Break 4:30-5:00 PM

Session 2: Philology and Power. 5:00-6:30 PM

Chair: Yaacob Dweck (Princeton)

Juan Páez de Castro, Language, and the History of the New World from Afar

Valeria Lopez (Princeton)

 Numerological Phonology in Ming China: Philology before the Rise of “Evidential Learning”

Nathan Vedal (Harvard)


Friday, January 9

Session 3: Repression and Discourse. 9:00-10:30 AM

Chair: Ann Blair (Harvard)

Secrecy in French and British political discourse on the eve of Revolution

Katlyn Carter (Princeton)

 Why Would a Lay Person Become a Censor for the Roman Inquisition?

Hannah Marcus (Stanford/Harvard, visiting)

 Visit, Scheide Library (in Firestone Library). 10:45-11:45 AM

Lunch 12:00-12:45 PM

Harvard-Princeton 2014

Thurs Jan 9, 2014 1:30-6:30pm and Fri Jan 10, 9am-3pm:

7th annual Harvard-Princeton Graduate conference in Early Modern History.

This year's conference will be held at Harvard in Harvard Yard, Robinson Hall, Lower Library.


Thurs 1:30-3:30pm

Welcome: Ann Blair

The Uses of Learning

moderated by Anthony Grafton


Frederic Clark, Princeton

The Medium Aevum between Ancients and Moderns: Tripartite Periodization in the Late Seventeenth Century and Beyond.


Valeria Lopez Fadul, Princeton

Language as archive: etymologies and the ancient history of a new world.


Michael Tworek, Harvard

Maricius’s De scholis seu academiis: A Humanist Educational ‘Manifesto’ for Reforming the Polish respublica?




Thurs 3:50-6:30pm

Powers of Narrative

moderated by Katharine Park


Ardeta Gjikola, Harvard

Polygraphy in Venice: Aretino and matters of judgment.


Heidi Hausse, Princeton

Metal and Bone: Christian the Younger and his Left Arm, 1622 – 1995.


Florencia Pierri, Princeton

An Elephant Accidently Burnt In Dublin and the Seventeenth Century Interest in Animal Anatomy.


Andrei Pesic, Princeton University

An Institution in Motion: the Concert Spirituel in Paris, Port-au-Prince, and Berlin.




Friday 9-11am

Meanings of Property

moderated by Daniel Smail


Hannah Callaway, Harvard

A Credit to the Nation: Émigré Wealth and Economic Relations in the French Revolution.


Cynthia Houng, Princeton

Shopping for China on the Streets of London: Buying and Selling the East Indies in the 18th century.


Meredith Quinn, Harvard

Books and their Owners in Seventeenth-Century Istanbul.




Friday 11:20-12:40pm


Structuring Histories

moderated by Tamar Herzog


Katlyn Carter, Princeton

Establishing Representative Legitimacy: The Rhetoric and Practice of publicité in Revolutionary France.


Paul Davis, Princeton

"Climate Change in Atlantic Thought, 1630-1799"




Fri 1:40-3pm

Scholarship and Empire

moderated by David Armitage


Devin Fitzgerald, Harvard

Laws for the Whole World: Reading Qing Statutes in a Global Age.


Alex Bevilacqua, Princeton

Toward Egypt: Geopolitics, Ideology, Scholarship.

Harvard-Princeton 2013


  Princeton Early Modern Workshop 2013

January 10 & 11, 2013
211 Dickinson Hall
Thursday, January 10 2:30-4:00 PM Looking Backwards
Frederic Clark, Princeton
The Discovery of Postclassical Time and the Transformation of Antiquity
Paul Davis, Princeton
Cloaking Clio: Historical Costumes in Eighteenth-Century Britain
Valeria A. Lopez Fadul, Princeton
Language as Archive: Etymologies and the Remote History of Spain
4:00-4:30 PM Coffee 210 Dickinson
Thinking Across Borders
Alex Bevilacqua, Princeton
The Bibliothèque Orientale: Sources, Organization, Readers
Elizabeth Cross, Harvard
The Compagnie des Indes and the Fate of Commercial Empire in the French Revolution
Hansun Hsiung, Harvard
Household Enlightenment: Barbarian Books and European Knowledge in Early Modern Japan
6:30 Dinner Masala Grill, Princeton
Friday, January 11
8:30-9:00 A.M. Breakfast 210 Dickinson
9:00-11:00 A.M. Expressive Traditions: Institutions and Performances
Stuart McManus, Harvard
Poor Cicero's Almanack
Andrei Pesic , Princeton
The "Dangerous" Concert: Rigorist critiques of religious music in early European concert series
Helen Pfeifer, Princeton
The Social Life of Ottoman Texts
Michael Tworek , Harvard
The Ciceronian Commonwealth: Cicero, Study Abroad, and the Revival of Antiquity in Renaissance Poland
11:30-1:00 Local Changes, Global Movements
Hanna Callaway, Harvard
Democratizing Property: The Confiscation of Émigré Wealth in the French Revolution
Devin Fitzgerald, Harvard
News In the Making of Early Modern China
Cynthia Houng, Princeton
Faking Japanese: The Case of the Fake Kakiemon vases from Meissen, and What They Tell Us About European Knowledge of East Asia in the Eighteenth century
1:00-2:00 PM Lunch for participants in 210 Dickinson
2:00-3:30 PM Science and Medicine Across Frontiers
Oksana Mykhed, Harvard
Russian Doctors, Polish Patients: Bubonic Plague and the Building of a New Imperial Province (1770-1782)
Flori Pierri, Princeton
"A beast whose scales are as Armor:"  Describing the Armadillo in Early Modern Europe
Margaret Schotte, Princeton
Astronomy Lessons on the Prince de Conti, c. 1756

Harvard-Princeton 2012

Conference Paper Abstracts

From Authorities and Tradition to Transmission and Conflict: Harvard-Princeton 2012 Conference Program

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Welcoming Remarks

Session 1: From Late Humanism to Enlightenment                                                                  1:30-3:30pm

Moderator: James Hankins (Harvard)

Frederic Clark (Princeton)

“Nuda Nomina and the “Injuries of Time”: Visualizing Transmission in Late Humanist Scholarship”


Michael Tworek, (Harvard)

“In Search of bonae artes: Study Abroad and Climbing the Career Ladder from Poland to Italy and Back Again”


Jens Eriksson (Harvard)

“Print Errors in the Enlightenment Public Communication and Print Quality in Germany during the Eighteenth-Century”


Coffee Break


Session 2: Between Religious Authority and Translation of Religion                                   3:50-6:30pm

Moderator: Anthony Grafton (Princeton)

Aslihan Gurbuzel (Harvard)

“Authorship and Textual Transmission in Islamic Mysticism: The Case of Ismail Ankaravi (d. 1631)”


Valeria Escauriaza-Lopez (Princeton)

“Francisco Hernandez and Dionysius the Areopagite”

Monica Poole (Harvard)

"The Viral Pulpit: Multimedia, Social Media, and Early Modern English Sermons"


Alex Bevilacqua (Princeton)

“Translating Islam in the European Enlightenment”


Dinner to follow


Friday, January 13, 2012 

Session 3: Book Cultures across Land, Sea, and Bodies                                                          9:00-11:00am 

Moderator: Ann Blair (Harvard)

Heidi Hausse (Princeton)

“Repairing the Body: Prosthetics and Orthopedics in Early Modern Germany”


Meredith Quinn (Harvard)

“Books and Their Readers in Seventeenth-Century Istanbul”


Margaret Schotte (Princeton)

““Good medium speed”: Estimating Velocity on the High Seas”


Coffee Break


Session 4: Free Trade and Politics                                                                                 11:20am-12:40pm

Moderator: David Armitage (Harvard)

Alex Bick (Princeton)

"Free Trade and African Slavery: the Politics of Monopoly in the Dutch Republic, 1636-38."


Tristan Stein (Harvard)

“Mutiny and Authority in the English Colony of Tangier”


Lunch provided


Session 5: Conflict in Religion, Politics, and Trade                                                                     1:40-3:00pm 

Moderator: Mark Kishlansky (Harvard)

Noah McCormack (Harvard)

"Was There a Whig Party in the 1690s? Religion, Party and the Division Between Early Modern and Modern in England"


Will Deringer (Princeton)

“"Calculated for the Publick Good": The  Balance of Trade, Partisan Politics, and Economic Epistemology in 1713”

 Closing Remarks

Harvard-Princeton 2011

Princeton-Harvard Graduate Conference on Early Modern Europe Schedule

Thursday, January 13, 2011

3:00 - 4:20 p.m. Session I: Tools of Empire
Room 230 Dickinson Hall

Chair: Adam Beaver (Princeton University)

Valeria Escauriaza-Lopez (Princeton)
“Language, Nature, and Empire in Early Modern Spanish Thought.”

Tristan Stein (Harvard)
“Ottoman Sovereignty and British Jurisdiction in the Levant, 1744-1748”

4:40-6:00 p.m. Session II: Early Modern Science:Principles and Practices
Room 230 Dickinson Hall

Chair: Yair Mintzker (Princeton University)

Catherine Abou-Nemeh (Princeton)
“Hartsoeker's student days: Cartesianism in Leiden and Amsterdam in the 1670s"

Margaret Schotte (Princeton)
“`To the User of this Book’: Prefaces and Prescriptions in Early Modern Navigational Manuals.”

6:30 p.m. Dinner for Participants
Masala Grill, 15 Cambers Street, Princeton 

Friday, January 14, 2011

9:30-11:30 a.m. Session III  Religious Identities
Room 211 Dickinson Hall

Chair: Eleanor Hubbard (Princeton University)

Freddy Dominguez (Princeton)
“English Life after (Spanish) Conquest: Robert Persons' Memorial in Context”

Aviva Rothman (Princeton)
"Kepler, Guldin, and Religious Community"

Monica Poole (Harvard)
"Hearing the sermon: audience behavior in 17th century Britain and America."

11:30-12:30 p.m. Lunch for Participants 
Room 210 Dickinson Hall

12:30-2:30 p.m. Session IV: Literary Technologies: Books, Authors, Readers
Room 210 Dickinson Hall

Chair: Ann Blair (Harvard University)

Ariane Schwartz (Harvard)
 “Reading Horace *Epistles* 1 in the late sixteenth century”

Paul Davis (Princeton)
"Adulation and Emulation: The Historical Vision of Thomas Hollis"

Suzanne Podhurst (Princeton)
 “Acts for the Discouragement of Learning? The Scriblerian Response to Index-Making”

Harvard-Princeton 2010

Settling Accounts: Words, Numbers and Power in Early Modern Europe

Thursday, 14 January 2010

1:30–3:30pm | Literature and History in Early Modern England

  • Matt Growhoski (Princeton): "A Fable like a Historie": John Barclary and the politics of literature in early Stuart Britain, 1603-42
  • Suzanne Podhurst (Princeton): The Defamer's Dilemma: authorship and responsibility in early modern England
  • Monica Poole (Harvard): "To make oratory do homage to the honor of God": how sermons were delivered in the English Revolution

4:00-5:30 | The New Philosophy

  • Catherine Abou-Nemeh (Princeton): Nicolas Hartsoeker (1656-1752) and the legacy of English philosophers in Dutch-French scientific thought
  • Will Deringer (Princeton): Calculating Crises: public finance and the politics of arithmetic


Friday, 15 January 2010

9:30–11:30am | The Power of Money

  • Alexander Bick (Princeton): The Boardroom and the Empire: a micro-history of Dutch commercial management in the mid-1640s
  • Chris Moses (Princeton): Money Matters in the 1690s Atlantic and Beyond
  • Hannah Callaway (Harvard): The Rights of Man and Paris Real Estate in the French Revolution

11:30am–12:30pm | Lunch

  • Lunch will be provided in Robinson Hall.

12:30–2:30pm | Religion and Politics

  • Amy Houston (Harvard): Protestant models for Catholic resistance: the sieges of Henri IV's accession, 1590-92
  • Freddy Dominguez (Princeton): Robert Persons, the English Succession, and Notes on Modern English Catholic Historiography
  • Oksana Mykhed (Harvard): Contested Arcadia: Partitions of Poland and the transformation of the Dnieper frontier, 1700-95

Paper Abstracts

Harvard-Princeton 2009

Hierarchy and Humanism

2009 Princeton Harvard Graduate Conference in Early Modern History

2:30-4:30 Session I: The Lives of Others
Chair: Anthony Grafton, Princeton University

Nicholas Bomba (Princeton)
'A Monster in the New World: Revisiting the Ordinances of 1542'

Eleanor Hubbard (Harvard)
'Patriarchy and Opportunity in Early Modern London'

Rupa Mishra (Princeton)
'The fall of Hormuz, the East India Company, and the English state'

4:45-6:45 Session ll: The Politics of Texts
Chair: Nigel Smith, Princeton University

Freddy Dominguez (Princeton)
"Historical Polemic: The Political Uses of Nicholas Sander's History of the English Schism"

Adina M. Yoffie (Harvard)
"Johannes Cocceius, the Bible’s ‘literal sense,’ and Sabbatarianism in the Dutch Republic, 1658-1669"

Suzanne Podhurst (Princeton)
"Forging Authority: Textual Exchange in Swift's Literary Coterie"
7:00 Dinner at Masala Grill, 15 Chambers Street, Princeton
10:00-12:00 Session III: Community and Authority in Natural Philosophy
Chair: Eileen Reeves, Princeton University
Erik Heinrichs (Harvard)
"Curing and Preventing Plague in early modern Bavaria"
Renee Raphael (Princeton)
"Tables in Late Medieval and Early Modern Astronomical Texts"
Aviva T Rothman (Princeton)
"Kepler's Mysterium Cosmographicum and the Scope of Religious Community"
1:30-3:30 Session IV: Humanists Cross Borders
Chair: Ann Blair, Harvard University
Michael Tworek (Harvard)
"Study Abroad: The Intellectual Foundations of the Polish Nation, 1409-1795'
Alexander Bick (Princeton)
"History Counts: the Rhetoric of Numbers in Johannes de Laet's History of the Dutch West India Company"
Jan Machielsen (Oxford)
Dogs and the Bellowing of Lions'; Martin Delrio and Justus Lipsius's return to Catholicism"

Harvard-Princeton 2008

Thursday, 17 January 2008

2:00–4:00pm | Conflicts and Contact

  • Chair: Prof. Anthony Grafton
  • John Gagné (Harvard), "Counting the Dead in the Italian Wars: Lombardy, 1499–1529" | abstract
  • Alex Bick (Princeton), "Africa: Old World or New?" | abstract
  • Kaja Cook (Princeton), "Crafting Genealogies: Moriscos and Lineage in 17th-century Peru" | abstract
  • Bill Bulman (Princeton), "Between Travel Literature and Antiquarianism? Lancelot Addison on Morocco and Muhammad" | abstract

4:30–6:00pm | Scientists and Artisans

  • Chair: Prof. Mark Kishlansky
  • Erik Heinrichs (Harvard), "Alchemy and Distilling: Physicians and Artisans in the Holy Roman Empire, 1470–1556" | abstract
  • Aviva Rothman (Princeton), "Kepler and Galileo in Conversation" | abstract
  • Catherine Abou-Nemeh (Princeton), "Hartsoeker's Homunculus: Optics, Politics and Cartesian Mechanical Philosophy in the Dutch Republic" | abstract

6:30pm | Dinner

Friday, 18 January 2008

9:30–11:30am | Producing Knowledge

  • Chair: Prof. James Hankins
  • Ada Palmer (Harvard), "Opinio non Christiana: Lucretius' First Renaissance Readers Examined through their Marginalia"
  • Vera Keller (Princeton), "The Desiderata List: Collecting the Future in the Early Modern Past"
  • Adina Yoffie (Harvard), "Abraham Calov and the Historiography of the Sensus Literalis"
  • Donna Sy (Princeton), "Printers' Paratexts: the Dedicatory Letters of the 17th-century Elzeviers"

11:30am–12:30pm | Lunch

  • Lunch will be provided in Robinson Hall.

12:30–3:00pm | Politics and Religion

  • Chair: Prof. Ann Blair
  • Amy Houston (Harvard), "Mille injures, indignes d'estre recitees: Mockery, Insult and Provocation during the Sieges of the French Religious Wars"
  • Nick Bomba (Princeton), "Philip II, Melchior Cano and the Carrafa War"
  • Monica Poole (Harvard), "Sermons as political discourse in the English Revolution, 1640–1649"
  • Noah McCormack (Harvard), "Resistance is Futile? Whigs and the Fate of Contractual Politics after 1688"
  • Amy Haley (Princeton), "Elopement and political ambition in late 18th-century England: the cases of Sheridan and Townshend"

Conference: (Dis)entangling Global Early Modernities, 1300-1800

Harvard University, March 24, 2017


Conference in Early Modern European Intellectual History, 2016

Please RSVP by April 4th
"God and the Philosophers in the seventeenth century"

A one-day workshop organized by Ann Blair and James Hankins for the Harvard Colloquium for Intellectual History,
Friday April 8, 2016
CES Lower Level Conference Room, 27 Kirkland St, Cambridge

Conference Schedule


Craig Martin (Oakland University), "Averroes, Averroism, and the New Sciences"

Debora Shuger (UCLA), "Place and Presence: the metaphysics of the Eucharist on the threshold of modernity"

Daniel Garber (Princeton University), "Spinoza: God of the Philosophers and God of the Bible"


Steven Nadler (University of Wisconsin, Madison), "Malebranche's Miracles"

Lisa Downing (Ohio State University), "Locke on the Possibility of Thinking Matter and the Impossibility of a Material God"

Jeff McDonough (Harvard University), "Spinoza on Personal Immortality"

4-5pm Reception

Harvard University 
October 14 – 15, 2016

Contesting the English Revolution
A Conference in Memory of Mark Kishlansky

Organized by
Paul Halliday, University of Virginia,  Eleanor Hubbard, Princeton University,  Scott Sowerby, Northwestern University

Cosponsored with
the Department of History at Harvard University

For full schedule, click here

A Symposium in Honor of Natalie Zemon Davis's 80th Birthday

This symposium, featuring thirty-six speakers from around the globe, took place at the Radcliffe Gymnasium in Cambridge, MA on 7–8 November 2008. Please see below for the complete schedule and videos from the event.


The conference organizers would like to thank the following sponsors for their generosity:

Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study

Schlesigner Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study

History Department, Harvard University

Office of the President, Harvard University

Humanities Center, Harvard University

Harvard University Library

Committee on Degrees in Studies of Women, Gender and Sexuality, Harvard University



For driving directions to the Radcliffe Institute, a map of Radcliffe Yard (showing the location of the Radcliffe Gymnasium), or advice on parking around Harvard Square, please visit the Radcliffe Institute's visitor information page.


For those attendees who require lodging in Cambridge, the organizers recommend the Sheraton Commander Hotel, located directly across the street from the conference site. Attendees seeking less expensive options are encouraged to consider the Irving House and A Friendly Inn; both are within 10 minutes' walk of the conference site. Additional questions about lodging may be directed to Meg Lemay at Harvard (


Harvard Square is home to restaurants specializing in almost every type of cuisine and scaled to almost every budget. For reliable recommendations, visit's Harvard Square Restaurant Guide.

Documents for the Speakers

A Reminder to Speakers

Please abide by the time limit of 7 minutes per speaker; please no powerpoint or slides--we have no screen. We would like the panels to take up the broadest possible dimensions of the topic, and how the topic has been or could be addressed by the scholarly world. So panelists are asked not to give a presentation on their own research, or to limit their remarks to a discussion of Natalie's influence. Rather, we would like you to speak to the topic of the panel, using your research or Natalie's if you wish, but keeping in mind issues of broader concern.

A Reminder to Chairs

Because this is a panel discussion, rather than a typical panel of academic papers, we ask the chairs to introduce the panel and keep speakers to their allotted time, but also to take the lead in creating a coherent discussion out of comments made by panelists and the audience.

Media Release Form

Drew Gilpin Faust (President of Harvard University)

Drew Gilpin Faust (President of Harvard University) - Welcome to "A Gift of History: A Symposium in Honor of Natalie Zemon Davis's 80th Birthday" Duration: 09:11

Jill Ker Conway (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Jill Ker Conway (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) - Presentation at "A Gift of History: A Symposium in Honor of Natalie Zemon Davis's 80th Birthday" Duration: 02:20

Leslie Tuttle (University of Kansas)

Leslie Tuttle (University of Kansas) - Presentation at “A Gift of History: A Symposium in Honor of Natalie Zemon Davis’s 80th Birthday” Duration: 06:45

Suzanne Desan (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Suzanne Desan (University of Wisconsin-Madison) - Presentation at “A Gift of History: A Symposium in Honor of Natalie Zemon Davis’s 80th Birthday” Duration: 07:21

Jennifer Jones (Rutgers University)

Jennifer Jones (Rutgers University) - Presentation at “A Gift of History: A Symposium in Honor of Natalie Zemon Davis’s 80th Birthday” Duration: 10:32

Panel Discussion: Society and the Sexes

Society and the Sexes - Panel Discussion at "A Gift of History: A Symposium in Honor of Natalie Zemon Davis's 80th Birthday" Duration: 29:19

Barbara Diefendorf (Boston University)

Barbara Diefendorf (Boston University) - Presentation at “A Gift of History: A Symposium in Honor of Natalie Zemon Davis’s 80th Birthday” Duration: 07:43

Gillian Grebler

Gillian Grebler - Presentation at "A Gift of History: A Symposium in Honor of Natalie Zemon Davis's 80th Birthday" Duration: 13:06

Edward Bever (SUNY-Old Westbury)

Edward Bever (SUNY-Old Westbury) - Presentation at "A Gift of History: A Symposium in Honor of Natalie Zemon Davis's 80th Birthday" Duration: 06:55

Sarah Maza (Northwestern University)

Sarah Maza (Northwestern University) - Presentation at "A Gift of History: A Symposium in Honor of Natalie Zemon Davis's 80th Birthday" Duration: 08:19

Miri Rubin (Queen Mary College, University of London)

Miri Rubin (Queen Mary College, University of London) - Presentation at "A Gift of History: A Symposium in Honor of Natalie Zemon Davis's 80th Birthday" Duration: 02:42

Cynthia Cupples (Howard Community College)

Cynthia Cupples (Howard Community College) - Presentation at "A Gift of History: A Symposium in Honor of Natalie Zemon Davis's 80th Birthday" Duration: 10:36

Howard Louthan (University of Florida)

Howard Louthan (University of Florida) - Presentation at "A Gift of History: A Symposium in Honor of Natalie Zemon Davis's 80th Birthday" Duration: 08:19

Moshe Sluhovsky (Hebrew University)

Moshe Sluhovsky (Hebrew University) - Presentation at “A Gift of History: A Symposium in Honor of Natalie Zemon Davis’s 80th Birthday” Duration: 09:40

Robert Darnton (Harvard University)

Robert Darnton (Harvard University) - Presentation at "A Gift of History: A Symposium in Honor of Natalie Zemon Davis's 80th Birthday" Duration: 10:25

Ann Blair (Harvard University)

Ann Blair (Harvard University) - Welcome to "A Gift of History: A Symposium in Honor of Natalie Zemon Davis's 80th Birthday" - Duration: 05:45

Anne Jacobson Schutte (University of Virginia)

Anne Jacobson Schutte (University of Virginia) - Presentation at “A Gift of History: A Symposium in Honor of Natalie Zemon Davis’s 80th Birthday” Duration: 07:31

Dina Copelman (George Mason University)

Dina Copelman (George Mason University) - Presentation at “A Gift of History: A Symposium in Honor of Natalie Zemon Davis’s 80th Birthday” Duration: 08:11

Alison Klairmont Lingo (University of California, Berkeley)

Alison Klairmont Lingo (University of California, Berkeley) - Presentation at “A Gift of History: A Symposium in Honor of Natalie Zemon Davis’s 80th Birthday” Duration: 08:21

Sherrill Cohen (Planned Parenthood of New York City)

Sherrill Cohen (Planned Parenthood of New York City) - Presentation at “A Gift of History: A Symposium in Honor of Natalie Zemon Davis’s 80th Birthday” Duration: 09:23

Virginia Reinburg (Boston College)

Virginia Reinburg (Boston College) - Presentation at "A Gift of History: A Symposium in Honor of Natalie Zemon Davis's 80th Birthday" Duration: 01:32:47

Vanessa Schwartz (University of Southern California)

Vanessa Schwartz (University of Southern California) - Presentation at "A Gift of History: A Symposium in Honor of Natalie Zemon Davis's 80th Birthday" Duration: 11:39

Laura Mason (University of Georgia)

Laura Mason (University of Georgia) - Presentation at "A Gift of History: A Symposium in Honor of Natalie Zemon Davis's 80th Birthday" Duration: 08:29

Sara Beam (University of Victoria)

Sara Beam (University of Victoria) - Presentation at "A Gift of History: A Symposium in Honor of Natalie Zemon Davis's 80th Birthday" Duration: 09:09


Storytelling - A Panel Discussion at "A Gift of History: A Symposium in Honor of Natalie Zemon Davis's 80th Birthday" Duration: 24:50

Keith Luria (North Carolina State University)

Keith Luria (North Carolina State University) - Presentation at "A Gift of History: A Symposium in Honor of Natalie Zemon Davis's 80th Birthday" Duration: 08:33

Paula Sanders (Rice University)

Paula Sanders (Rice University) - Presentation at "A Gift of History: A Symposium in Honor of Natalie Zemon Davis's 80th Birthday" Duration: 10:01

Linda Lierheimer (Hawaii Pacific University)

Linda Lierheimer (Hawaii Pacific University) - Presentation at "A Gift of History: A Symposium in Honor of Natalie Zemon Davis's 80th Birthday" Duration: 12:26

Society and the Sacred

Society and the Sacred - Panel Discussion at "A Gift of History: A Symposium in Honor of Natalie Zemon Davis's 80th Birthday" Duration: 26:25

Harry Liebersohn (University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign)

Harry Liebersohn (University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign) - Presentation at "A Gift of History: A Symposium in Honor of Natalie Zemon Davis's 80th Birthday" Duration: 09:06