Conference: Uncovering Material Knowledge, QUB, 30th and 31st August 2019

Professor Pamela H. Smith (Columbia University), Professor Chandra Mukerji (University of California) and Professor David Livingstone (Queen’s University, Belfast) will be giving keynote lectures.

This conference seeks to break with the age-old separation of hand and mind and uncover examples of material and embodied knowledge across a broad range of periods, geographical locations, spaces and places.

Developments in histories of science, medicine and technology have fundamentally re-oriented our understanding of knowledge production. Recent scholarship has made a break with narratives that privilege a few ‘great men’ and engaged with a more diverse range of actors (e.g. women, indigenous peoples, tradesmen, technicians) and prioritised an approach that uncovers complex interactions between  humans, their environments and the material things they have at their disposal.

However, ‘knowledge’ or intellectual work took many different forms and scholars from fields such as food history, gender history, literary studies, historical geography and art history have increasingly viewed activities that were traditionally dismissed as unexceptional (such as cooking or craft) as playing a critical role in knowledge production.

Some kinds of knowledge are harder to access in the historical record than others and require different sources and approaches to bring their meaning and significance to light. The surge in interest, across a range of disciplines, in the study of material culture has served to unlock one such source and has offered new opportunities for understanding different forms of knowing – the material, the embodied and the non-verbal.

For further details and to register to attend please use the following link: