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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Katharine Renee Zimmerman
HIST 219
Seattle Campus

Science and the Arts in Early Modern Europe

Explores the role of artisanal craft practice and knowledge in the Scientific Revolution. Examines the artisanal world and its traditions of craft knowledge and follows the transmission of artisanal practice into the scholarly world of natural philosophy in the seventeenth century. Assesses the consequences for scientists and artisans.

Class description

HIST 219 examines themes in the history of science with a special focus on the relationship between the scientific enterprise and the arts in Europe. Traditionally thought of as separate social and intellectual pursuits, this course surveys the long and entangled history shared by science and art (understood broadly as artisanal crafts, and the technical and fine arts). We will explore how each has inspired the other conceptually and materially, and how scientists and artists have often been united by their shared pursuit of truth and beauty. Topics covered will include craft knowledge in early modern Europe; artists on voyages of exploration in the 18th and 19th centuries; visualizations of geologic time; Darwinism and Victorian visual culture; and the invention and uses of photography. Through these and other topics we will see how natural phenomena has been observed, collected, recorded, explained, and communicated in the laboratory as well as in the artistís studio.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Lectures, reading assignments, and class discussion.

Recommended preparation

No preparation required.

Class assignments and grading

Short writing assignments, midterm, and final exam.

Short writing assignments, quizzes, midterm, and final exam.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Katharine Renee Zimmerman
Date: 02/25/2013