Dept III icon

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

Bovine Regimes: When Animals Became Technologies


Balancing the Soil: Soil Knowledge and Soil Improvement in Late Ming Farming Manuals


Bovine Regimes: How Animals Became Technologies


Understanding Anthropogenic Change


News & Press

Sonja Brentjes awarded May Prize by the International Commission for the History of Mathematics


Wilko Graf von Hardenberg elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society



Dept. III seeks Student Assistant (deadline August 16, 2021)


Feature Stories