HISTORY 654 / 854: TOPICS IN HISTORY OF SCIENCE.
SCIENCE, MAGIC, AND RELIGION IN EARLY-MODERN EUROPE.
Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries saw the opening up of new worlds of knowledge. Alongside geographical exploration, the people of this age witnessed a transformation in what was known of the universe and a considerable expansion in available information about nature. In this course, we examine the factors that made this a period of turmoil and change in the cultures of knowledge in Europe. We shall look at the impact of printing, the challenges to traditional academic philosophies, the conflicts between learned and popular systems of belief, and the continuing vitality of religious and magical thinking. As we shall discover, this was a period in which recognizably modern ways of thinking were still entangled with beliefs in magic, astrology, prophecy, and witchcraft. The syntheses and the struggles between these outlooks make this a particularly fascinating period in the history of ideas.
Instructor: Professor Jan Golinski
Classes: Monday and Wednesday 3.10-4.30 Horton 307
Office: Horton 301D
Office hours: Wednesday 2.00-3.00, Friday 11.00-12.00, and by appointment.
Tel.: 862-3789 E-mail: email@example.com
Assigned books (available in the UNH Bookstore and Durham Book Exchange):
Carlo Ginzburg, The Cheese and the Worms (Johns Hopkins, 1992). ISBN: 0801843871.
Peter Dear, Revolutionizing the Sciences (Princeton, 2001). ISBN: 0691088608.
I. Bernard Cohen and Richard S. Westfall, eds., Newton (Norton Critical Editions, 1996). ISBN: 0393959023).
John Hedley Brooke, Science and Religion: Some Historical Perspectives (Cambridge, 1991). ISBN: 0521283744.
B. Ankarloo, et al., Witchcraft and Magic in Europe: The Period of the Witch Trials (U. Penn Press, 2003). ISBN: 081221787X.
ADDITIONAL REQUIRED READINGS WILL BE POSTED ON BLACKBOARD.
This class will make use of Blackboard to circulate essential documents for reading and discussion. This is a required, not optional, part of the class. You should make sure you can access the class pages on the Blackboard system as soon as possible, and check them regularly. You should choose your own password to make it secure. Also, if you want email to go to another address than your UNH account, please change the email address on the Blackboard system. If you have not used Blackboard before, start with the page “10 Steps to Getting Started with Blackboard” (http://www.unh.edu/blackboard/gettingstarted.html). I can give you a paper copy of this, if you wish. Other questions can be answered by the FAQ page: http://www.unh.edu/blackboard/faqs.html, or you can get help from the CIS Helpdesk in the MUB, or from a reference librarian.
Some of the documents will be in HTML format, others will be Adobe Acrobat or Microsoft Word documents. To read these, if you don’t have the program on your computer, you can download a viewer (see: http://www.unh.edu/blackboard/faqs.html).
Assignments: We will use a combination of lectures and discussions in this class. Certain sessions will be set aside for discussion of the assigned readings, and everyone will be expected to be properly prepared and participate. Absences will certainly be noticed and repeated absence will adversely affect your grade. To facilitate discussion, you will be asked to write a short report on the assigned reading and bring it to class. Each report will be handed in for comments but will not be graded immediately. Instead, you will have the opportunity to revise the reports and submit them in the form of a journal toward the end of the semester to receive a grade. In addition to this, undergraduates will take a midterm test and write a final research paper (using sources beyond those assigned for the class). Graduate students will write an essay-review for the mid-term and a final research paper, but will not take the mid-term exam. All students will take the final exam: for undergraduates this will comprise short-answer questions and one essay; graduate students will write two in-class essays.
Grades will be calculated as follows:
654: 5 reports on reading (30%); mid-term test (20%); final paper (20%); final exam (20%); class participation (10%).
854: 5 reports on reading (30%); monograph review (20%); final paper (25%); final exam (25%).
In this class, a zero-tolerance approach will apply to infringements of academic honesty, including any cases of plagiarism. This is consistent with the university policy on these issues. If you have any questions about the policy, please refer to the handbook, Student Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities, pp. 37-39.
If you are a student with a documented disability who will require accommodations in this course, please register with the Access Office in the Memorial Union Building, room 118 (862-2607) for assistance in developing a plan to address your academic needs. Students who are already registered with the Access Office and wish to receive accommodations in this course are strongly encouraged to share their Accommodation Letter with me in a timely manner.
19 Jan Introduction to the period; “science,” “magic,” and “religion.”
24 Jan Discussion of a primary text in relation to basic themes of the course.
Reading: Della Porta, Natural Magick, extract on BLACKBOARD.
26, 31 Jan New Worlds of Knowledge: Printing and Exploration.
Reading: Articles by Eisenstein and Johns; Bacon, New Atlantis,
REPORT #1 DUE on Bacon.
2, 7 Feb Popular and Elite Cultures.
Reading: Ginzburg, Cheese and Worms.
REPORT #2 DUE on Ginzburg.
9, 14, 16 Feb Magic and Witchcraft.
Reading: Ankarloo, Witchcraft and Magic in Europe.
21, 23 Feb Protestantism and the Reform of Knowledge.
Reading: Brooke, Science and Religion, chaps. 2, 3.
[NO CLASS on 28 Feb.]
2, 7 Mar The Counter-Reformation and the Galileo Affair.
Reading: Galileo, Letter to Grand Duchess Christina, on BLACKBOARD.
REPORT #3 DUE on Galileo.
9 Mar MID-TERM TEST (654)
MONOGRAPH REPORT DUE (854).
21 Mar INDIVIDUAL CONSULTATIONS to discuss final paper projects.
23 Mar The Question of the Scientific Revolution.
Reading: Dear, Revolutionizing the Sciences, intro. and chap. 1.
28, 30 Mar Baroque and Courtly Science.
Reading: Articles by Findlen, Smith, and Daston on BLACKBOARD.
REPORT #4 DUE on one of these articles.
4, 6 Apr The Crucible of the English Revolution.
Reading: Brooke, Science and Religion, chap. 4; Jacob chapter,
11, 18 Apr New Institutions of Knowledge.
Reading: Dear, Revolutionizing the Sciences, chaps. 5, 6, 7;
Sprat, History of the Royal Society, extract on BLACKBOARD.
REPORT #5 DUE on Sprat.
13 Apr Discussion with Prof. Roger Smith, Dunfey Visiting Professor:
“The Scientific Revolution and the Human Sciences”
20 Apr INDIVIDUAL CONSULTATIONS on final papers.
REPORTS DUE for grading.
25 Apr The Gender of the Scientific Revolution.
Reading: Articles by Harkness and Schiebinger on BLACKBOARD.
27 Apr, Newton and the Traditions of Learning.
2, 4 May Reading: Cohen and Westfall, Newton, pp. 58-72, 96-108, 171-181,
274-281, 339-349, 356-370.
9 May The Origins of the Enlightenment.
Reading: Dear, Revolutionizing the Sciences, chap. 8; Brooke, Science
and Religion, chap. 5.
FINAL PAPERS DUE.
Friday 13 May (8.00-10.00): FINAL EXAM (654 and 854).