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Fusion of two images: "Dyers scraping stenciled fabrics," figure 235, Hommel & Mercer, China at Work 1937, and "Indian indigo-dye worker," photo A. Mamidipudi, 2017.

Dept. III

Artifacts, Action, Knowledge

Department III studies the history of knowledge and action considering the changing role of artifacts: texts, objects, and spaces. Our research collectively examines the processes and structures by which people grappled with the materiality of existence. Through the analysis of everyday actions, we interrogate the boundaries and intersections between the inner workings of objects and all domains of life. Together these approaches allow us to pursue inquiries into historical epistemologies of action. Our research structure has three entry points: artifacts (things), action (making), knowledge (work). 

Source-Based Initiatives

Department III Events

The Waste of the Body


Caste, Religion, and the Laboratory Life


(POSTPONED) Constellations and Celestial Globes from the Islamic World: The Use of Virtual Reality Technology as a New Interpretative Tool


Putting Knowledge to Practice: "Reading" Agricultural Terraces in Medieval Palestine


News & Press

Doctoral position "Everyday Knowledge and its Sources in the Sinosphere" (deadline: July 15, 2022)


David M. Robinson publishes book on Korea and the fall of the Mongol Empire


MPIWG researchers and alumni publish Isis Issue focused on the Anthropocene