The Columbia University Ottoman and Turkish Studies Seminar is happy to announce the second meeting of the year. The speaker Harun Küçük is Assistant Professor in the Department of History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania, where he regularly teaches the Emergence of Modern Science. He has recently finished a monograph titled Science without Leisure: Practical Naturalism in Istanbul, 1660-1732 and is currently studying the relationship between almanacs and nationhood in the seventeenth century.
The historiography of science is currently taking what is generally known as the “global turn.” Building on an array of critical approaches, this turn incorporates not only new geographies, but also parts of society and genres of writing that were previously excluded from the canon of the “emergence of modern science.” It replaces diachronic accounts with synchronic accounts. A series of recent studies have made a strong case for why we should no longer speak about Francis Bacon or Robert Boyle in order to explain empiricism and why there was no such thing as the Copernican Revolution. However, turning away from a canon in which much scholarship and many scholars are invested has also created a crisis, especially for seventeenth century science and for the tenacious notion of “the Scientific Revolution.” In this talk, Harun Küçük will present bibliographic and economic data from Istanbul that may help us understand some of the structural elements of what he calls global practical naturalism in the seventeenth century. Using unproductive labor and leisure as analytic tools, he argues that the Scientific Revolution is more of a Scientific Counter-Revolution and makes a soft case against the concern for reflexivity, which continues to inform many of our historical inquiries.
Please RSVP at your convenience to [email protected].