Scientific Revolution and the Republic of Letters

Course Description: 

The course aims at dealing with the emergence of late medieval and early modern scientific practices that is the more concentrated efforts of experimenting nature, empiricism and offering new interpretations. The context for discussing scientific advancement is the contemporary intellectual network, the Republic of Letters whose members, communities and endeavors will be discussed. The seminar also intends to deal with digital tools and applications in order to map the Republic: its individual contacts and institutional exchanges, the ways of communication and operation.

Learning Outcomes: 

The course develops a comprehensive and critical understanding of intellectual and scholarly practices within early modern contexts, mostly within a complex network of knowledge production. It also provides familiarity with current research in the fields of the history of science and digital humanities whose methodologies will be introduced and used for the interpretations of texts, networks, collections and accumulated data.


Each participant will be required to give at least one presentation (a ca. 20-25 minute presentation proposing issues to be discussed in the particular class meeting as gleaned from the weekly readings), to contribute actively to class discussion, and to write a max. 3,000 word seminar essay, based on the class presentation. The essay should be submitted two weeks after the end of the term, the latest. The grade will emerge from the combination of the presentation (30%), class activity (30%) and the seminar essay (40%).