A history of infrastructure in Semitic philology.

This sub-project investigates the affordances that were essential to making and transmitting philological knowledge – with concentration on libraries, storage facilities, workspaces, and lecture halls.

Collaborator: Paul Michael Kurtz (PI)

A history of practice in Classical philology.

This sub-project scrutinizes the standardisation and routinisation of technical methods (or protocols and procedures) – with a particular focus on tables, stemma, and strata across francophone, germanophone, and anglophone scholarship.

Collaborator: Laura Loporcaro (Postdoc)

A history of media in Indo-Iranian philology.

This sub-project inquires into transformation of physical artefacts into stable, standardised ‘texts’ through processes of copying, collecting, archiving, circulating, and printing – with close attention to typefaces, squeezes, and photography in colonial India and Iran. 

The research approaches the history of media on two levels:

  1. The theoretical questions on data collection and storage, such as what data are, how they can be preserved and organised, their usage and circulation.
  2. The historical record of scholarly assessment of data, improved techniques and research network. The focus of the research is on the nineteenth century, although earlier or later periods are also taken into account for a historical framework. The case studies mainly retrace the history of England, Germany and France; they especially focus on the techniques of collection and reproduction of data such as typefaces and especially the Devanāgarī typeface for writing Sanskrit , paper squeezes to prepare corpora of inscriptions, and photography, a method often deemed unsuitable for the truthful capture and reproduction of data.

This study includes both a technical aspect of building and implementing the tools and the socio-political dynamics characterising nineteenth-century scholarly research. The investigation of relationships between locals and colonialists, scholars in the field and in European libraries, the choice of specific manuscripts’ fonts and private vs national printing systems represent other essential elements for tracing a history of media.

Collaborator: Martina Palladino (Postdoc)

A history of cooperation in Germanic and Romance philology.

This sub-project investigates how large-scale strategic alliances produced philological knowledge as a valuable, usable resource – with a focal point on the Royal Historical Commission of Belgium.

Collaborator: Christian Hoekema (Predoc)