Being a Minority in Medieval and Early Modern Sciences
WORKSHOP (Warsaw, 25–26 January 2024)
Deadline for applications: 15 October 2023
“Being a minority in medieval and early-modern sciences” explores the emergence, significance, limitations, advantages (if any), and specific features of minorities engaged in the study and/or practice of the sciences and philosophy across history, cultures, and societies, from the 13th through the 17th century. We want to unveil and reflect on how the ‘minority’ status might have conditioned, shaped, invisibilized, or connoted the minority’s approach to scientific and philosophical topics, and to what extent the forms and results of the scientific engagement might have affected or modified the minority’s social and cultural status, living conditions, image, and identity. We are also interested in how this minority status might have affected minor or understudied fields of knowledge or peripheral aspects within specific scientific disciplines. Here, the term ‘minority’ is understood broadly (gender, language, disability, religion, heterodoxy, ethnicity, etc.), the same as science (medicine, astronomy, astrology, natural philosophy, etc.). The timeframe would extend through the 17th century, and there is no geographical limit.
One of the two sponsors of this conference, PERIPHERIES (Minority Cultures on the Periphery of Science: The Jews and the Circulation of Scientific Goods), focuses on Jews as a minority engaged in the study of astronomy and the production and circulation of astronomical texts and artefacts in cross-cultural contexts. However, this call for papers focuses not only on the Jewish minority but also on other minorities engaged in scientific/philosophical activities, and also on minor/hidden fields related to medieval and early-modern sciences/philosophy.
The workshop will bring together scholars and students alike, welcoming their diverse methodological backgrounds and perspectives. Our goal is to create an inclusive and diverse platform that fosters meaningful discussions on the social and cultural aspects of minorities and the sciences throughout different historical periods and cultures. By engaging in this multidisciplinary exploration, we hope to gain deeper insights into the complex interplay between scientific pursuits and minority experiences in the past.
The Organizing Committee invites scholars, PhD candidates, and independent researchers to submit abstracts (200–300 words) for 20-minute papers dealing with any aspect of the minorities and the sciences by October 15, 2023. With the abstract, please send a two-page CV indicating your current affiliation, fields of research, and publications.