I am currently transitioning between projects. Both projects raise issues related to materiality and sociability and I am eager to learn more about how digital scholarship can support historical research in these areas.
In particular, I am presently completing a project on 18th C anatomical modeling, which investigates the role of specimens and artifacts in the production, communication, and legitimation of anatomical knowledge. Reconstructing how artifacts came to lie at the center of a composite world of social interaction, this study examines the networks of agency and the multiple instances of mediation and negotiation that participated in the transformation of a local practice like wax-modeling into a medium of medical knowledge.
In my future research, I intend to explore the relationship between the movement of people and objects across Mediterranean shores and the making of pre-modern natural and medical knowledge. One part of this research will consider the creation of boundary spaces such as quarantine stations that regulated access to some Mediterranean cities (Part A below). The other part will focus on artefacts and specimens such as curiosities and medical and scientific artefacts that travelled across the Mediterranean (Part B below).
A) This part of the research will analyse the social and material life of the spaces that regulated access to port cities. In particular, I intend to explore how quarantine stations marked physical, social, cultural and symbolic borders, and worked as sites of both surveillance and detention and negotiation, translation, and exchange.
B) Another aspect of this research concerns the circulation of curiosities and natural and medical artefacts in the Mediterranean world. In particular, I intend explore how, while moving across spaces and cultures, early modern scientific objects and curiosities acted as sites of encounter and exchange, and contributed to redesign notions of locality and distance while gaining new meanings and values.
I don’t have in mind a specific digital development related to these projects but I am looking forward to learning about the possibilities opened up by digital resources both in terms of research for these projects and in the terms of research networks.