Thursday, May 10, 2007

Observation in Early Modern Letters, 1500 – 1650
Warburg Institute
University of London, 29 -30 June 2007
A colloquium organized by the Warburg Institute, with the support of the British Academy.

In the past two decades, the fierce attacks on the humanist tradition by exponents of the new science in the seventeenth century have been re-assessed. One of the issues at stake concerns the methods of humanist philology: by means of the critical observation of manuscript and printed copies of texts, philologists had learnt to trust their senses before drawing conclusions. This observational method was also applied to phenomena other than texts in the fields, for example, of astronomy, anatomy and botany. This conference aims to analyse how observations reported in early modern letters were communicated and until what extent they were mediated by epistolary rhetoric. Cutting through disciplinary and confessional boundaries, the methods of the learned world in the early modern period will be assessed by the following speakers: Iordan Avramov, Elisabethanne Boran, Candice Delisle, Florike Egmond, Anthony Grafton, Michiel van Groesen, Gerhard Holk, Chiara Lastraioli, Henrique Leitao, Dirk van Miert, Peter N. Miller, and Adam Mosley. For more information, please contact