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Natural Resources in Early Modern Economies of Knowledge

Apr 29, 2021

Workshop in Cooperation with the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science and the Università Ca’ Foscari, Venedig

This workshop is a continuation of the workshop organized in 2019 on "Cosmology of Resource Transformations in Early Modernity" and will focus on two resource groups: Water in urban and planetary contexts and mineral and metallic resources in mining contexts. Presentations will address the use of resources as well as their conceptualization as parts of a "nature" redefined from the perspective of resource exploitation in the early modern period. In terms of knowledge history, the workshop aims to understand the assimilation process in relation to the respective contexts and the respective resources. At the same time, this resource-related knowledge will be placed in tension with a (post-)Copernican understanding of planetary contexts and a planetary unity in the consideration of an early modern construction of nature. Thus, human agency with respect to natural processes and conditions is also included in a comprehensive dimension of the workshop's considerations. Water management and mining are forms of early modern "geoengineering" and link resource management to planetary theories of nature. Thus, these areas are early, effective and irreversible interventions in nature, as described by the Anthropocene in the twentieth century with the help of large-scale technology. Therefore, the workshop seeks to also trace the aspect of a Protoanthropocene that comprises the systematization of practice, domination, and epistemology.

Further Information

The event will be held in English and take place digitally. Please register by e-mail to info@sfb-episteme.de in order to receive the access link.