University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Cabinet of Natural History > Visible labour? Productive forces and imaginaries of participation in European insect studies, ca. 1680–1830

Visible labour? Productive forces and imaginaries of participation in European insect studies, ca. 1680–1830

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  • UserDominik Hünniger (University of Hamburg)
  • ClockMonday 26 October 2020, 13:00-14:00
  • HouseZoom.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Joanne Green.

Spatial and material conditions of scholarly labour in 18th-century natural history collections have received growing attention recently, as have the contributions of artisans to the development of natural history. Visual sources have been instrumental in reconstructing and analysing these contributions and conditions. Inspired by recent studies on the visual culture of science as well as the role of labour in natural history, this presentation will analyse the diversity of the ‘productive forces’ in European insect studies, ca. 1680–1730 and expose the social imaginaries of participation by looking at frontispieces of entomological books and periodicals and their depiction of labour. How did artists present their work? What skills, instruments, tools and spaces were depicted? What do we learn about collaborative practices in natural history knowledge formation? Are there hidden figures who come to the fore when looking closer at and magnifying digitised images? Answers to these questions will provide a richer picture of the production processes and the producers of knowledge on insects in the long 18th century.

This talk is part of the Cabinet of Natural History series.

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