Valentina Pugliano

Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow (Oct 2021-Jul 2022)


My research lies at the intersection of the history of early modern science and medicine. I recently completed a doctorate at the University of Oxford with the thesis ‘Botanical Artisans: Apothecaries and the Study of Nature in Venice and London, 1550-1630’. In this study I focused on the renewed vogue for nature that took hold of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe. I questioned our standard image of the early modern naturalist (male, Latinate, and university-educated) and his material and intellectual approach to research, in order to recover one dimension of artisanal, non-elite contribution to this transitional period for European cultures of knowledge.Previous awards include visiting fellowships at Harvard University, the University of Cambridge, and Department II of the Max Planck itself. I have taught tutorial courses on medieval and early modern European and British history and the history of science. For the past two years I also designed and convened the seminar series, ‘Colonial Science and its Histories’, at the Institute for Historical Research, University of London, where I was a Junior Research Fellow. The seminar saw a follow-up international symposium, ‘Colonial Science and its Histories. The Workshop’, on 14 January 2011.I am particularly interested in science and medicine from below and from the margins, and the ways in which the environment, geographical distance and material constraints can shape ideas and practices. My next major research project will be on the environmental and scientific imperialism of the Republic of Venice across mainland and maritime territories c. 1450-1750. Here at the Max Planck, instead, I will explore a lead from my doctoral work: the intervention of craftsmen and artisans in the natural historical collections of sixteenth-century Venice. I will delve into the relationship between art and science to reconstruct the role of artisans in the creation of three-dimensional objects for the museums of naturalia, and through this work their take on embodied natural knowledge and their role in the study of the properties of materials.


No current projects were found for this scholar.

Role of Craftsmen and Artisans in the Natural Historical Collections of Sixteenth-Century Venice


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