Humanities

Anthony Grafton

Anthony Grafton

General Director
Princeton University

Early Modern Europe & History of Science

Professor Grafton’s current project is a large-scale study of the science of chronology in 16th- and 17th-century Europe: how scholars attempted to assign dates to past events, reconstruct ancient calendars, and reconcile the Bible with competing accounts of the past. He hopes to reconstruct the complex and dramatic process by which the biblical regime of historical time collapsed, concentrating on the first half of the 17th century. Professor Grafton’s special interests lie in the cultural history of Renaissance Europe, the history of books and readers, the history of scholarship and education in the West from Antiquity to the 19th century, and the history of science from Antiquity to the Renaissance. He joined the Princeton History Department in 1975 after earning his A.B. (1971) and Ph.D. (1975) in history from the University of Chicago and spending a year at University College London, where he studied with Arnaldo Momigliano.

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Professor Grafton likes to see the past through the eyes of influential and original writers, and has accordingly written intellectual biographies of a 15th-century Italian humanist, architect, and town planner, Leon Battista Alberti; a 16th-century Italian astrologer and medical man, Girolamo Cardano; and a 16th-century French classicist and historian, Joseph Scaliger. He also studies the long-term history of scholarly practices, such as forgery and the citation of sources, and has worked on many other topics in cultural and intellectual history. Professor Grafton is the author of ten books and the coauthor, editor, coeditor, or translator of nine others. Two collections of essays, Defenders of the Text (1991) and Bring Out Your Dead (2001), cover most of the topics and themes that appeal to him. He has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship (1989), the Los Angeles Times Book Prize (1993), the Balzan Prize for History of Humanities (2002), and the Mellon Foundation’s Distinguished Achievement Award (2003), and is a member of the American Philosophical Society and the British Academy. In 2011 he served as President of the American Historical Association. At Princeton he is the Henry Putnam University Professor of History.

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Humanities- Advanced School 2018-2019

poster

The 4th Advanced School in the Humanities

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Textual practices across manuscript and early print, ca 1400-1700
Event date: January 13 - January 17, 2019 

Organizers:
Ann Blair (Harvard University)
Dror Wahrman (The Hebrew University)
Ray Schrire (The Hebrew University)

General Director: Anthony Grafton (Princeton University)

 

This five-day winterschool at the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies brings together specialists of books in Hebrew and European languages from the late medieval and early modern periods. We will study textual practices through the lifecycle of the various physical objects we call books for convenience (though they may take other forms than the codex that we associate with books today). In particular we will examine how texts were composed and scribed, prepared for publication and distributed (in manuscript or in print), and read and annotated. By focusing on materiality and practice we wish to explore points of contact and difference between traditions and cultures that are often studied as separate. We are eager to learn from one another and from the students who join us across our various areas of specialization which include learned cultures in Latin and Hebrew, various vernacular European literatures and cultures, and Jewish books of the medieval and early modern periods, in manuscript and print. We are planning five full days of activities in different formats including visits to special collections in nearby libraries, lectures, hands-on workshops and roundtables, and above all both moderated and informal discussions of many kinds, including of pre-circulated materials which everyone will read in advance.

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