Science and Empire in the Atlantic World

Edited by James Delbourgo, Nicholas Dew

© 2008 – Routledge

370 pages

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Paperback: 9780415961271
pub: 2007-10-25
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Hardback: 9780415961264
pub: 2007-11-15
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About the Book

Science and Empire in the Atlantic World is the first book in the growing field of Atlantic Studies to examine the production of scientific knowledge in the Atlantic world from a comparative and international perspective. Rather than focusing on a specific scientific field or single national context, this collection captures the multiplicity of practices, people, languages, and agendas that characterized the traffic in knowledge around the Atlantic world, linking this knowledge to the social processes fundamental to colonialism, such as travel, trade, ethnography, and slavery.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Far Side of the Ocean

James Delbourgo and Nicholas Dew (McGill University)

Part One: Networks and Circulations

1. Controlling Knowledge: Navigation, Cartography, and Secrecy in the

Early Modern Spanish Atlantic

Alison Sandman (James Madison University)

2. The Geography of Precision in the French Atlantic World

Nicholas Dew (McGill University)

3. Circulations: Benjamin Franklin’s Atlantic as Medium and Message

Joyce E. Chaplin (Harvard University)

Part Two: Writing the American Book of Nature

4. A New World of Secrets: Occult Philosophy in the Sixteenth-Century Atlantic

Ralph Bauer (University of Maryland)

5. Tropical Empiricism: Making Medical Knowledge in Colonial Brazil

Júnia Ferreira Furtado (Federal University of Minas Gerais)

6. American Climate and the Civilization of Nature

Jan Golinski (University of New Hampshire)

Part Three: Itineraries of Collection

7. Empiricism and Identities in the Spanish Atlantic World

Antonio Barrera (Colgate University)

8. Fruitless Botany: Joseph de Jussieu’s South American Odyssey

Neil Safier (University of Pennsylvania)

9. Atlantic Competitions: Botany in the Eighteenth-Century Spanish Empire

Daniela Bleichmar (University of Southern California)

Part Four: Contested Powers

10. The Electric Machine in the American Garden

James Delbourgo (McGill University)

11. Diasporic African Sources of Enlightenment Knowledge

Susan Scott Parrish (University of Michigan)

12. Mesmerism in Saint Domingue:

Occult Knowledge and Voodoo on the Eve of the Haitian Revolution

François Regourd (University of Paris – Nanterre)

Afterword: Science, Capitalism and the State

Margaret C. Jacob (UCLA)

About the Editors

James Delbourgo is Assistant Professor of History and Chair of History and Philosophy of Science at McGill University. He is the author of A Most Amazing Scene of Wonders: Electricity and Enlightenment in Early America.

Nicholas Dew is Assistant Professor of History at McGill University, where he teaches early modern European history and history of science. He is the author of Orientalism in Louis XIV’s France.

About the Series

New Directions in American History

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HIS000000
HISTORY / General
HIS036020
HISTORY / United States / Colonial Period (1600-1775)
HIS037050
HISTORY / Modern / 18th Century
HIS051000
HISTORY / Expeditions & Discoveries