The Kiln, The Alembic, and the Clockwork
CSMBR Summer Schools
The Kiln, the Alembic,
and the Clockwork
Early Modern Representations of the Body and its Changing Matter
29-31 March 2019
Hiro Hirai, Fabio Zampieri,
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Summer School Themes
The Representation of the Body from Antiquity to the Early Modern Period
Technological Models of Bodily Functions: Meaning and Implications
How Technology Alters Human Self-Perception
Transformation of bodily matter in alchemy.
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The summer school explores how the representation of the body and its functions changed from antiquity to the early modern period and how technology alters the perception of what we are as human animals.
By adopting three of the most iconic analogies ever used in the history of medicine to represent the human body, The Kiln, the Alembic, and the Clockwork illustrates the early modern imagery of the body in connection to different methods of investigation and their overlapping with disciplines such as alchemy and astronomy.
Particular attention is devoted to the process of combination and concoction of humours (the kiln), distillation and perspiration (the alembic) and the mechanical action of innate heat (the clockwork). Each analogy is considered in relation to the impact it exerted on the Renaissance and early modern understanding of human physiology.
The summer school is open to students and scholars at all stages of their career. Sources and papers are pre-circulated in order for attendees to engage fruitfully in conversation with speakers in a roundtable at the end of the day. Small presentations (no longer than 5-7 min each) are also welcome.
Santorio Fellowship 2019