Against the backdrop of the Library’s four-year series on the early environmental history of the Americas, the John Carter Brown Library will host “Fire and Water: Entangled Histories of Empire and Science in the Early Modern Americas.” This symposium, which brings together scholars from different disciplines and distinctive stages of their scholarly careers, has two aims: in the first instance, it is to assess the last two decades of historiography related to the history of science (especially in the Iberian and Iberoamerican worlds) and to plan a bold agenda for the coming decade to consolidate the scholarly and intellectual progress made to date. In the second instance, it is to interrogate how fire and water as material, immaterial, social, cultural, political, and symbolic forces can help us think through the early environmental – and scientific – histories of communities throughout the Americas.

 

This symposium is generously supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Director’s New Initiatives fund from the John Carter Brown Library.