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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

Responsible Documentation and Conscious Outcomes: Explorations in the Ownership of Knowledge


Science in Practice: Astronomical Instruments in the Islamic World


Depicting Time: The Visualisation of the Planetary Deities and the Seven-Day Astrological Week in the Graeco-Roman World


Orientation and Organization of the Zodiacal Image in the Roman Empire


News & Press

Department III seeks Student Assistant to support "Visualizations of the Heavens" Working Group


The Institute welcomes its first remote Journalist in Residence: Pakinam Amer


Academic publisher Brill releases new open-access series Agriculture and the Making of Sciences


Feature Stories