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Title: Contextualizing practical knowledge in early modern Europe
Author: Leemans, Annemie Daniel Gerda
ISNI:       0000 0004 6061 8822
Awarding Body: University of Kent Universidade do Porto
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2016
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The overarching topic of this dissertation is practical knowledge in early modern Europe. Practical knowledge is the know-how people have in order to make something, do something or obtain something. Textually speaking, this knowledge profiles itself as a prescription, recipe, secret, or formula. The areas of interest of practical knowledge are very wide from kitchen wisdom to medical panaceas. The main aim of this interdisciplinary study is to contextualize practical knowledge. By 'contextualizing' I mean studying different topics that are intrinsically intertwined with the subject. In this PhD dissertation the 1) origin or creation, 2) transmission or dissemination, and 3) use or consumption are key subjects for understanding the place of practical knowledge in early modern European society. These three topics are reflected in the six chapters. The first part, containing the first three chapters, deals with practical knowledge in general and the second part, containing the last three chapters, deals with a case study of a book called A Very Proper Treatise (1573). The first chapter of the first part, which is an introduction to the whole thesis, contains the historiography and theory about the subject concerning practical knowledge production and status. The second chapter studies transmission dynamics of practical knowledge, making use of the rhizome metaphor of Deleuze and Guattari and examining transmission dynamics in specialized environments, such as workshops and laboratories. In the third chapter of Part I, I develop the concept of mediators of practical knowledge, arguing that some people, either literary writers or practitioners, used the printing medium to earn in their living. As a consequence they are responsible for a major dissemination of practical knowledge. Part II of this PhD dissertation is conceived as a microapproach. In this part the study of the early English print A Very Proper Treatise (1573) finds its legitimate place. This Treatise about limning, or painting in books, will be examined through the same three lenses used in Part I: creation, dissemination, and consumption. In the first chapter the origin of the text of the book is examined. The following chapter examines the making or origin of the material book, where I argue that it is a printer's compilation. Finally, the consumption and consumers of the book will be studied in the third and last chapter.
Supervisor: Richardson, Catherine ; Polonia, Amelia Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral