Past Event

Textiles, Dyes and Knowledge Oeconomies in the French Enlightenment

October 27, 2017
9:15 AM - 5:30 PM
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Fayerweather Hall (Room 513), Columbia University, 1180 Amsterdam Avenue, New York
Photo of workers laboring in Enlightenment-era France

This symposium brings together scholars working on the interlocking histories of science, artisanal production, and commerce in Enlightenment France. Speakers will focus on material substances that were critical to the French textile industry such as silk, Spanish broom, plant, insect and chemical dyes, and the place they occupied within networks of commodity and knowledge production. Following the circulation of knowledge and materials among various sites, scientific academies, royal administrative bodies, merchant companies, and workshops, the papers will examine the complex relationship between handicrafts, trade, and science in the eighteenth-century. The functioning of these commercial and epistemic networks will be analyzed alongside the shifting political-economic objectives of the French state and its actors, and against a backdrop of stiff international competition between Old Regime France and its economic rivals. As such, the papers will situate the movement of people, things, and knowledge within a wider geography of knowledge.

Free and open to the public, but RSVP via Eventbrite is required.

This event was made possible through the generous support of the Alliance Program, the Center for Science and Society at Columbia University, and the History Department at Columbia University.

Image: The Encyclopedia of Diderot & d’Alembert Collaborative Translation Project. Ann Arbor: Michigan Publishing, University of Michigan Library, 2010. Trans. of “Draperie,” Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, vol. 3 (plates). Paris, 1763.