Thesis ID: CBB783502425

Making Knowledge in Seventeenth-Century England: Recipes, Writing, and Experimentation (2019)


Snively, Samantha (Author)
Dolan, Frances E (Advisor)

University of California, Davis
Dolan, Frances E
Publication date: 2019
Language: English

Publication Date: 2019
Physical Details: 286

This project makes the case that experiments in incorporation were fundamental knowledge-making practices, methods, and tools for inquiry in early modern English culture. I examine the ways that incorporative thinking was a central part of major developments in legal, theatrical, medical, and scientific epistemologies in the seventeenth century. I understand incorporation as the process of combining disparate objects or ideas in order to create something new, and many of early modern England’s epistemic crises and innovations centered on the idea of incorporation. Aspects of incorporation in various forms have been the focus of much study, but these studies tend to focus on religious, national/political, and protocapitalist incorporation at the expense of other cultural and intellectual movements. In this project, I focus on incorporative practices and experimental mindsets in areas of early modern culture that have received less critical attention. I examine a variety of texts on the margins of major institutions, including revenge tragedies like The White Devil and Cymbeline and Old Bailey court records, legal ballads and pamphlets, a rich archive of seventeenth-century manuscript recipe collections, the poetry of women like Margaret Cavendish and Hester Pulter, and women’s household writing. The act of incorporating substances and making knowledge depends heavily upon reading practices, and a focus on a spectrum of reading practices ranging from observation and diagnosis to tasting, embodied writing, and crafting poetry structures my chapters. By attending to incorporation, I am able to highlight wide range of interpretive and intellectual practices that fall under the umbrella of “reading”: diagnosis, observation, evaluating evidence, manual practicing, modification, transcription, and annotation. As a result, my project makes methodological and epistemic interventions in a number of fields across literary and historical disciplines, ranging from law and literature to studies of early modern women’s writing to histories of the rise of science. In doing so, I suggest that incorporation remains useful as a method, a concern, a way of approaching and building an archive, and an argument.

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Authors & Contributors
Jalobeanu, Dana
Borrelli, Arianna
DiMeo, Michelle
Evans, Jennifer
Goldberg, Benjamin
Hunter, Lynette
Centaurus: International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
American Historical Review
Historia Scientiarum: International Journal of the History of Science Society of Japan
Historical Research: The Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research
Seventeenth Century
Social History of Medicine
Manchester University Press
University of Chicago Press
Ashgate Publishing
Palgrave Macmillan
Peter Lang
Springer Nature
Formulas; recipes
Medicine and culture
Experiments and experimentation
Therapeutic practice; therapy; treatment
Bacon, Francis, 1st Baron Verulam
Della Porta, Giovan Battista
Atherton, Gertrude Franklin Horn
Brinkley, John Richard
Cavendish, Margaret, Duchess of Newcastle
Digby, Kenelm
Time Periods
17th century
16th century
Early modern
18th century
19th century
20th century, early
London (England)
University of Nottingham

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