Scholars in Action (2 vols)

The Practice of Knowledge and the Figure of the Savant in the 18th Century


Scholars in Action addresses the complexities of the culture of knowledge, focusing on the scholar, or savant, as its main actor. The book explores how, and to what end, savants in the 18th Century collated, produced, critiqued, propagated, diffused, and applied knowledge.
Investigating scholars’ diverse practices of knowledge, the volume’s six sections are organised around central scholarly activities: rising and advancing, reading and judging, perceiving and reacting, printing and communicating, observing and experimenting, as well as advising and serving.
Based on a wide range of sources and looking at a great variety of savants, an international group of 40 authors open up new perspectives on eighteenth-century scholars and scholarship.

Contributors include Kirill Abrosimov, Gunhild Berg, Thomas Biskup, Holger Böning, Simona Boscani-Leoni, Barbara Braun-Bucher, Laurence Brockliss, Florence Catherine, Lorraine Daston, Simone De Angelis, Bettina Dietz, Clorinda Donato, Claudia Engler, Iris Flessenkaemper, Daniel Fulda, Marian Füssel, Martin Gierl, Rainer Godel, Karl S. Guthke, Thomas Habel, Caspar Hirschi, László Kontler, Urs Leu, Annette Meyer, Marion Mücke, Miriam Nicoli, Andreas Önnerfors, Hole Rössler, Anne Saada, Torsten Sander, Hartmut Schleiff, Ulrich Johannes Schneider, Reinhart Siegert, René Sigrist, Justin Stagl, Regula Wyss, and Simone Zurbuchen.
André Holenstein, Ph.D (1989), habilitation (1999) is Professor of Swiss History at the University of Bern. He has published on the history of statebuilding, popular resistance, economic knowledge, and collective memory from the late middle ages to the early 19th century.
Hubert Steinke, M.D. (1995), Ph.D. (2003) is Professor of History of Medicine at the University of Bern. He has published widely on Haller, the Republic of Letters and on medical theory and practice from the 16th to the 19th century.
Martin Stuber, Ph.D. (1996), is associated with the Institute of History at the University of Bern. He has published widely on the history of forestry, the network-based scholarly communication and the production of useful knowledge in the 18th and 19th century; in particular, he explored Albrecht von Haller and the Bernese Economic Society (Oekonomische Gesellschaft).
"As a whole, this compilation has much to offer. Seeing as the contributors come from a wide range of academic interests (including historians of education, literature, medicine, politics, and science) this collection offers a multiplicity of interpretations and research sources that will appeal broadly to readers and researchers interested in the complexity and diversity of eighteenth-century scholars and scholarship." - Kristen Schranz, University of Toronto, in: Spontaneous Generations 9:1 (2018), 192-194
All interested in the Republic of Letters, the history of Enlightenment and the history of early modern knowledge, scholarship and science.
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