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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). 

Research Themes

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Histories of Planning
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The Body of Animals
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Source-Based Initiatives

Department III Events

Cultural Translation Processes in 16th Century Tunisia: The Case of ´Alī B. Aḥmad B. Muḥammad Al-Sharafī from Sfax

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Software Building for Textual Scholarship Practices

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Theories of Change; Or, How Sea Level Rise Became a Historical Event

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Visual Materials in Local Gazetteers

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News & Press

"The Mask–Arrayed" project and podcast featured as the Max Planck Society's "Topthema"

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Postdoctoral Fellow sought for Working Group "Out of Place, Out of Time" (January 29, 2021)

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Director Dagmar Schäfer elected member of Deutsche Akademie der Technikwissenschaften (acatech)

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Publications & Digital Resources

Multimedia