Lauren Kassell (Cambridge): Inscriptions, Digitization, and the Shape of Knowledge. Lessons from the Casebooks Project
17 Bloomsbury Square
This lecture series will explore new approaches to the history of knowledge from a wide geographical and thematic angle. Addressing knowledge production in contexts ranging from medieval European societies and colonial settings to the modern challenges of climate change and the digital humanities, the talks will exemplify how these methods can be applied in a variety of disciplines.
Talk 1: Day by day, around 1600, a pair of English astrologer–physicians documented their consultations, filling 30,000 manuscript pages with cases. This is one of the largest surviving sets of private medical records in history. Reflecting on what it means to create a new archive out of an old archive, this talk focuses on the Casebooks Project, a tool for searching these records. It brings together approaches from the histories of science and medicine to the production of knowledge, both on paper and in xml, with broader questions about the history of record-keeping and the nature of scholarship in the twenty-first century.
Lauren Kassell is Professor of History of Science and Medicine at the University of Cambridge. She has published on the occult sciences, gender, and generation. She is Director of the Casebooks Project, a digital edition of early modern medical records that has produced a dataset, a web-based search interface, and explanatory material.
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