New Book | Crafting Enlightenment

Posted in books by Editor on June 22, 2021

The latest in the Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment series, from Liverpool UP (with more information from this blog posting by the editors) . . .

Lauren R. Cannady and Jennifer Ferng, eds., Crafting Enlightenment: Artisanal Histories and Transnational Networks (Liverpool: Voltaire Foundation in Association with Liverpool University Press, 2021), 416 pages, ISBN 978-1800348141, £65 / $100.

A ground-breaking volume examining the transnational conditions of the European Enlightenment, Crafting Enlightenment argues that artisans of the long eighteenth-century on four different continents created and disseminated ideas that revolutionized how we understand modern-day craftsmanship, design, labor, and technology. Starting in Europe, this book journeys through France across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas and then on to Asia and Oceania. Highlighting diverse identities of artisans, the authors trace how these historical actors formed networks at local and global levels to assert their own forms of expertise and experience. These artisans—some anonymous, eminent, and outside the margins—translated European Enlightenment thinking into a number of disciplines and trades including architecture, botany, ceramics, construction, furniture, gardening, horology, interior design, manuscript illustration, and mining.

In each thematic section of this illustrated volume, two leading scholars present contrasting case studies of artisans in different geographic contexts. These paired chapters are also followed by shorter commentary that reflects on pertinent themes from both chapters. Emphasizing how and why artisanal histories around the world impacted civic and private life, commerce, cultural engagement, and sense of place, this book introduces new richness and depth to the conversations around the ambivalent and fragmented nature of the Enlightenment.

Lauren R. Cannady, Assistant Clinical Professor in University Honors at the University of Maryland, is a historian of early modern art and architecture with an interest in intellectual and cultural history. Her previous publications include analyses of early modern garden patterns and French aesthetic philosophy, and her current project is a book on northern European gardens as sites of knowledge production and transmission. Jennifer Ferng is Senior Lecturer in Architecture and Postgraduate Director at the University of Sydney. She received her PhD from MIT. Her second co-edited book Land Air Sea will address how architecture and environment(s) in the early modern era forecasted contemporary issues related to climate change and sustainability.


List of Figures

Lauren R. Cannady and Jennifer Ferng, Introduction: Assembling Artisanal Identities across Geographies

I. Envisioning Artisanal Histories
• Chandra Mukerji, Sovereign Sun King
• Emine Fetvaci, Visualizing Urban Festivals in the Ottoman Empire: A Comparison of the Sixteenth and Eighteenth Centuries
• Richard Taws, Telling Artisanal Time

II. Collaborative Objects
• Frédéric Dassas, The Secret to Success: Urbanization and Luxury Decoration at the Place Louis-le-Grand
• Dennis Carr, The Spanish Colonial World in Microscosm: A Puebla Desk-and-Bookcase
• Florina H. Capistrano-Baker, Artisanal Agency, Agnonymity, and Power

III. Religion and the Commerce of Empire
• Neil Kamil, Mark of Disgrace or Matter of Politeness? Materiality, Trust, and Expectations in Early-Eighteenth-Century Virginia
• Lauren R. Cannady, Interregna: The Société des Arts and the Scale of Time
• Thomas Crow, Confessional Complications in Maritime Trade

IV. Corporeal Ecologies
• Sugata Ray, A ‘Small’ Story of the Jasmine Flower in the Age of Global Botany
• Doroty Ko, Fire Walk with Me: Tales of Artisanal Body (Parts) and Innovation in Early Modern China
• Nany Um, Grounded Terrains and Vertical Landscapes in Eighteenth-Century Asia

V. Enlightenment Technologies
• Valérie Nègre, Craft Knowledge in the Age of Enyclopedism
• Jennifer Ferng, Miniature Domination: Mining the Worlds of Goldfields Jewelry and Emu Eggs
• Kaijun Chen, Artisans as Thinkers in the Early Modern World


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