Early Modernities and the Circulation of Knowledge

This interdisciplinary research programme brings together scholars of political and social history, literature, painting, visual culture, material culture and medical history. Our research spans a long time period going from the Renaissance and early modern period to the romantic era in the English-speaking world.

Needlework world map

We examine the slow building of modernities — the plural is meaningful — over a long period, eschewing artificial segmentations or preconceived definitions of such modernities.

Our various angles and perspectives allow us to confront ideas on a somewhat pre-disciplinary culture, in which the division of knowledge was porous. Bringing together different areas of expertise, we try to map the complex, multi polar circulation of intellectual, artistic, scientific, technical and commercial knowledge in the expanding worlds of empire. By focusing on knowledge-making and interrogating categories and their boundaries, the programme also reflects on our own academic disciplines and the epistemological categories we use to understand the period.

Directors : Vasset Sophie et Fennetaux Ariane.

Seminars : Slavery and Slave Societies