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Early Modern Women and Alchemy, 1550-1700

Descrizione del progetto

L’impiego dell’alchimia da parte delle scrittrici britanniche

Secondo le statistiche dell’UNESCO, le donne rappresentano il 30 % della comunità scientifica. Lo scopo di questa ricerca è dimostrare che l’impegno a livello scientifico non è un fenomeno riservato esclusivamente al sesso maschile, in quanto esistono significativi contributi femminili alla storia della scienza. Il progetto WALCHEMY, finanziato dall’UE, concentra l’attenzione sulla rivoluzione scientifica nella Gran Bretagna del XVI e XVII secolo e sul coinvolgimento delle donne nell’alchimia, la disciplina della trasformazione chimica. I ricercatori sostengono che la diffusione della tipografia abbia favorito le pubblicazioni scientifiche sull’alchimia, la cui conoscenza era ben nota tra le scrittrici. Basandosi sulla letteratura anglofona scritta da donne, la ricerca approfondirà l’impatto esercitato dall’alchimia sulle opere realizzate da queste scrittrici.

Obiettivo

In 2017 UNESCO pointed out that only 30% of the world’s scientific researchers are women. One reason for this low statistic (according to UNESCO) is the lack of visible female role models. Feminist scholars such as Sarah Hutton, Alisha Rankin and Meredith Ray have turned to the era of the European scientific revolution – the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries – to investigate women’s contribution to the history of science. This research is important because it has spotlighted women scientists from the past and demonstrated that scientific enquiry is not simply a male phenomenon. There is, however, one area in the history of science that is noticeably understudied in relation to women writers but in which they were paradoxically most active: alchemy. Lyndy Abraham and Tara Nummedal have shown that alchemical knowledge – the craft of chemical transmutation, both physical and spiritual – was widely disseminated in this period because of the invention and flourishing of printing. I will concentrate on Anglophone female authors because scholars such as Stanton Linden and Robert Schuler have foregrounded a British male alchemical literary tradition, but have overlooked women’s participation in that tradition. I will produce the first in-depth book-length study to explore the influence of alchemy on early modern Anglophone female authors’ works. In so doing, my project seeks to recover a previously unrecognized female-authored alchemical culture that privileged the transformative power of the female mind, word, body and spirit. By adding the hitherto absent dimension of women’s literary thought and practice to our understanding of the alchemical and holistic mind-set of early modern Britain, this study will make a landmark contribution to the histories of science and women’s writing. As such, it will be a key resource for students and scholars interested in women’s engagement with science and the cross-fertilization between scientific discourses and literary language.

Meccanismo di finanziamento

MSCA-IF-EF-ST - Standard EF

Coordinatore

UNIVERSITEIT LEIDEN
Contribution nette de l'UE
€ 175 572,48
Indirizzo
RAPENBURG 70
2311 EZ Leiden
Paesi Bassi

Mostra sulla mappa

Regione
West-Nederland Zuid-Holland Agglomeratie Leiden en Bollenstreek
Tipo di attività
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Collegamenti
Costo totale
€ 175 572,48