Tobias Bitterli

Tobias  Bitterli

History department

Subject: Cabinets of curiosities and the organization of knowledge in 16th and 17th century Holy Roman Empire of German Nation

Supervisor: Prof. Dror Wahrman

Abstract: The research will evolve around the question of how these collectors of Cabinets of wonders organized their knowledge and defined the objects categorical boundaries. Based on these questions the research will try to answer the questions how the parts of the collections became knowledge and what was the ''Weltanschauung'' (worldview) of these collectors.

The research will present a social history of knowledge based on the microcosm of collectors and their Cabinets of wonders and will deal with the acquisition and transmission of knowledge, its 'construction' and 'production' and with practices such as classification and experiments. The group of collectors will be analyzed according the theories of the “New sociology of knowledge” and in particular the approach of micro-sociology which is concerned with the everyday life of small groups, circles, networks or 'epistemological communities' and sees those as the fundamental units which construct knowledge and directs its diffusion through certain channels. These 'epistemological communities' are often studied through the micro-spaces in which they work. In the research the micro space will be relations between the collectors and their buying agents on the one hand and the relations between the collectors themselves and the collectors and scholars.

Short bio: I emigrated 9 years ago to Israel from Switzerland.


Mosse Stipend 2016/17