Each week is referenced by the Monday that begins it, e.g. the week of January 30th, book reviews are due Sun, January 29th at 11:59pm; book review comments can begin as soon as the first posts are made and continue until Tuesday, January 31st at 11:59; and our class session is scheduled Wednesday, February 1st from 7:20-10pm.

Books labeled as being “online” can be accessed through while books labeled as being on “physical reserve” can be checked out at the Fenwick Library circulation desk. Some online books are also available on physical reserve.

Weekly Schedule

January 23

Steven Shapin, The Scientific Revolution [physical reserve]

Jan Golinski, “Is it Time to Forget Science? Reflections on Singular Science and Its HistoryOsiris 27, no. 1 (2012): 19-36.

Peter Dear, “Science is Dead; Long Live Science,” Osiris 27, no. 1 (2012): 37-55.

January 30

Alisha Rankin, The Poison Trials: Wonder Drugs, Experiment, and the Battle for Authority in Renaissance Science [used copies available from $5+ and new copies $35]

Christiane Nockels Fabbri, “Treating Medieval Plague: The Wonderful Virtues of Theriac,” Early Science and Medicine 12, no. 3 (2007): 247-283.

February 6

Pamela O. Long, Engineering the Eternal City: Infrastructure, Topography, and the Culture of Knowledge in Late Sixteenth-Century Rome [online]

Eric H. Ash, “Expertise and the Early Modern State,” Osiris 25, no. 1 (2010): 1-24.

February 13

Ulinka Rublack, The Astronomer and the Witch: Johannes Kepler’s Fight for His Mother [online]

skim Hopton 1607. An Almanack and Prognostication [EEBO, sorry about the print quality]

[tentative] Marvin P. Bolt and Michael Korey, “Diotrope: Examining and Cataloguing the World’s Oldest Surviving Telescopes,” Journal of Glass Studies 61 (2019): 270-276 and telescope field trip

February 20

Robyn Arianrhod, Thomas Harriot: A Life in Science [online]

explore the Mary Rose Virtual Museum

February 27

James Delbourgo, Collecting the World: the Life and Curiosity of Hans Sloane [online]

[optional] visit the Museum of Natural History (or other Smithsonian museum)

March 6

Elaine Leong, Recipes and Everyday Knowledge: Medicine, Science, and the Household in Early Modern England [online]

explore Dr. Otis’ current digital history project, Death by Numbers on the London Bills of Mortality

March 13

Spring break: no class!

March 20

W.W. Woodward, Prospero’s America: John Winthrop, Jr., Alchemy, and the Creation of New England Culture, 1606-1676 [online]

March 27

Anita Guerrini, The Courtiers’ Anatomists: Animals and Humans in Louis XIV’s Paris [Kindle edition $3-4 via Amazon]

skim 3 entries from Edward Topsell, A Historie of Foure-Footed Beastes [EEBO]

[optional] visit the Smithsonian’s National Zoo

April 3

Margaret Schotte, Sailing School: Navigating Science and Skill, 1550-1800 [online]

Katherine Neal, “Mathematics and Empire, Navigation and Exploration: Henry Briggs and the Northwest Passage Voyages of 1631,” Isis 93, no. 3 (2002): 435-453.

April 10

Andrés I. Prieto, Missionary Scientists: Jesuit Science in Spanish South America, 1570-1810 [online]

“FOCUS: COLONIAL SCIENCE,” Isis 96, no. 1 (2005), consisting of:

April 17

Simon Werrett, Thrifty Science: Making the Most of Materials in the History of Experiment [online]

explore the Making and Knowing Project

explore the Newton Project

April 24

John M. Dixon, The Enlightenment of Cadwallader Colden: Empire, Science, and Intellectual Culture in British New York [online]

May 1

Benjamin Wardhaugh, Poor Robin’s Prophecies: A Curious Almanac, and the Everyday Mathematics of Georgian Britain [online]

Jessica Otis, “‘Set Them To the Cyphering Schoole’: Reading, Writing and Arithmetical Education, circa 1540-1700,” Journal of British Studies 56, no. 3 (July 2017), [alternate article link in case doi doesn’t work for you]

  • note: this is chapter 3 of my under-contract monograph; if anyone is interested in reading other chapters instead of or in addition to this one, just let me know