Vera Keller

Vera Keller

Fellow: Awarded 2020
Field of Study: Intellectual and Cultural History

Competition: US & Canada

My work explores the history of knowledge across languages, social groups, and disciplines in early modern Europe. In Knowledge and the Public Interest, 1575-1725 (2015), I offered a critical history of the truism that knowledge ought to serve public interest. I used the history of wish lists to track the effects of collective human desires upon knowledge. My second book project, The Interlopers: Cornelis Drebbel (1572-1633) and early Stuart Projects on the World Stage, looks at the fusion of science, technology and politics in the wildly ambitious world of early Stuart projectors surrounding the artist, alchemist, inventor and philosopher, Cornelis Drebbel. If that period represented the purposeful undisciplining of knowledge, my third book project, Curating the Enlightenment: Johann Daniel Major(1634-1693) and the Experimental Century, looks at technologies for ordering knowledge afresh, such as Major’s “science” of museum organization informed by new ideas of the human and global practices of collecting and display. Through collaborations with international scholars, I’ve co-edited several volumes, journal issues, and the book series, Cultures and Practices of Knowledge in History (de Gruyter). At the local level, I cultivate partnerships with campus libraries, museums, students and area artists in grass-roots humanities projects exploring the history of color.

Photo Credit: Marty Moore

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