Fire and Water: Entangled Histories of Empire and Science  in the Early Modern Americas

September 21-23, 2017

The John Carter Brown Library

Providence, RI

The John Carter Brown Library invites graduate students and early career scholars to submit proposals for papers to be presented at a three-day conference entitled “Fire and Water: Entangled Histories of Empire and Science in the Early Modern Americas,” to take place on the campus of Brown University from September 21-23, 2017. As part of a four-year series on the four elements as a heuristic window onto early environmental history in the Americas, the Library will host junior and senior scholars for a three-day interrogation of the role of science in the Americas and, in particular, the ongoing dialogue between Iberian and northern European traditions. The aim of the symposium is twofold: in the first instance, it is to assess the last two decades of historiography related to the history of science 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 were wielded and tamed by communities throughout the Americas.