Call for Papers: Colouring and Making in Alchemy and Chemistry (7th SHAC Postgraduate Workshop)

It’s been eerily quiet around here for too long! Many things have happened since I ceased posting more regularly, and perhaps I’ll find time to dwell on some of them in the future. Among other things, I have devoted much of my time to intensive manuscript research, which has come to be defining for my PhD thesis. But for now, I would like to advertise the all-new call for papers for this year’s postgraduate workshop of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry (SHAC). I’m particularly thrilled about the keynote lecturers and the collaboration with ARTECHNE at Utrecht University…

Colouring and Making in Alchemy and Chemistry
7th SHAC Postgraduate Workshop

Utrecht University (Wednesday, 26 October 2016)

Keynote Lecturers
Tara Nummedal (Brown University)
Ernst Homburg (Maastricht University)

Hosted by the ARTECHNE research group, the annual postgraduate workshop of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry (SHAC) will take place at Utrecht University in 2016. Fostering exchange among historians of alchemy and chemistry, the workshop offers postgraduate students and early-career researchers the opportunity to share ideas, explore methodological issues and network in a stimulating atmosphere.

The theme for 2016, ‘Colouring and Making in Alchemy and Chemistry’, seeks to highlight colour­ing and making as twin aspects throughout the history of alchemy and chemistry. During our workshop, we will explore how these activities relate to one another in a variety of ways throughout the ages. More fundamentally, the very ways in which making and colouring are construed and differentiated are subject to great changes: when alchemists claimed to have made gold successfully, for instance, their critics (and later generations) held that they had not made but merely coloured a substance. Colouring as a defining mark of making and the making of colours, as well as the techniques used to colour and/or make, are all equally subsumed under the workshop topic broadly construed.

Possible topics include but are by no means limited to:
– techniques of colouring and making,
– making through colouring by alchemical or chemical means,
– the production of colouring agents, pigments and dyes,
– the role of colours and/or theories of colour in alchemy and chemistry.

We invite abstract submissions (app. 200 words) for papers (between 15 and 20 minutes) on topics related to the workshop theme in any historical period. Please email your abstract or any questions to the SHAC student representative, Mike A. Zuber (Amsterdam), studentrep [AT] The deadline for propo­sals is 15 June 2016. Presenters should either be currently enrolled as postgraduate students or active as junior researchers (within three years of PhD completion).

The workshop is free of charge but the number of participants is limited. Bursaries towards the cost of travel and/or accommodation are available; confirmed presenters will be prioritized.

You can also download this call for papers as a PDF, and I would be delighted if you could forward it to anyone who might be interested in submitting an abstract or attending the event.


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