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Stéphane Van Damme

Professor of History of ScienceVanDamme

Director of Graduate Studies 

 

Tel. [+39] 055 4686 519 / 391
Email: Stephane.VanDamme@eui.eu

Administrative Assistant: Miriam Felicia Curci

Postal address: Department of History and Civilization | Via Bolognese 156 | 50139 Florence - Italy

Villa Salviati, Manica - Office SAMN 249 - Office Hours: Tuesdays, 14:00-16:30

 

Fields of Research


  • Enlightenment Science in a Global Context
  • Enlightenment Metropolis in Europe (Paris, London, Edinburgh)
  • Empires of Sciences (North-America, West Africa, South India)
  • Natures of the Enlightenment (Environmental History, Anthropocene)
  • Democratic Transitions and Sciences: Transatlantic Debates

Languages


French, English, Italian, Spanish and German

Current Seminars at EUI


Projects


Professor Van Damme’s research examines the origins of early modern scientific knowledge within European Culture during a long eighteenth-century (1650-1830) by looking at essential elements overlooked by historians of science such as scientific centres (Lyon, Paris, London, Edinburgh, New York), founding fathers of the Scientific Revolution (Descartes), paradigmatic disciplines (philosophy, natural history, antiquarianism, geography), and recently, imperial projects (mainly North America and India). In 2014, he published a collection of essays on the cultural history of Enlightenment philosophy, A toutes voiles vers la vérité, which explores the role played by the (natural) philosopher in Old Regime societies. Currently, he is working on two different projects. First, he would like to draw the attention on some naturalists, natural philosophers, and traveling scholars in Europe who struggled with the dangers of missionary order of information and promoted a form of anti-globalist practices and discourses in the context of a new developement of the French Empire. The book would like to explore this sceptical culture of knowledge in France between 1650 and 1780 (to be published in 2016).

The second project deals with another foundational divide of the Enlightenment which opposed nature and city. By focusing on the emergence of a natural history of metropolises, this project would like to nuance this opposition and to better understand the development of new natural knowledge of the city (urban geology, urban mineralogy, urban botany, urban chemistry, medicine) in relation with the commodification of urban nature (collections,  invention of 'green belt', new consumptions). It would like therefore to assess to what extent Enlightenment practices were crucial for an understanding of urban ecology. This project is based on the tales of three cities (Paris, London and New York).

Selected Recent Publications


Books and Monographs 

  • Descartes. Essai d’histoire culturelle d’une grandeur philosophique (XVIIe-XXe siècle) (Paris : Presses de Science Po, collection “ Facettes ”, 2002), 346 pages.
  • Paris, capitale philosophique de la Fronde à la Révolution (Paris : Editions Odile Jacob, collection Histoire, 2005), 311 pages.
  • Le Temple de la sagesse. Savoirs, écriture et sociabilité urbaine (Lyon, 17-18e siècles), (Paris : Editions de l’EHESS, Civilisations et société, 2005), 516 pages.
  • L’Epreuve libertine. Morale, soupçon et pouvoirs dans la France baroque (Paris : CNRS Editions, 2008), 279 pages.
  • Métropoles de papier. Naissance de  l’archéologie urbaine à Paris et à Londres (Paris : Les Belles Lettres, 2012), 310 pages.
  • A toutes voiles vers la vérité. Une autre histoire de la philosophie au temps des Lumières (Paris : Le Seuil, 2014), 393 pages. To be translated in Turkish.
  • Les voyageurs du doute. Une anthropologie critique dans l'Europe moderne (Paris: Fayard, under contract 2016).
  • La passion de la vérité: retour sur une pratique philosophique de plein air au temps des Lumières (Paris: Editions de la Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian, 2016).
  • Sciences en société de la Renaissance à nos jours (Paris: La documentation photographique, 2017).

 Edited Books 

  • With Nicolas Offenstadt, Luc Boltanski, Elisabeth Claverie, eds., Affaires, scandales et grandes causes. De Socrate à Pinochet (Paris : Editions Stock, « Les essais », 2007).
  • Lorraine Daston, L'économie morale des sciences: jugements, émotions et valeurs, Paris, La Découverte, Futurs antérieurs, 2014, translated by Samuel Lézé, introduction and presentation by Stéphane Van Damme.
  • Stéphane Van Damme, ed., Histoire des sciences et des savoirs, vol. I, De la Renaissance aux Lumières (Paris : Edition du Seuil, 2015).

Special Issue

  • William Carruthers and Stéphane Van Damme (eds.), « Disassembling Archaeology, Reassembling the Modern World: Questions and Possibilities”, History of Science, special issue, accepted. 

Translation

  • Simon Schaffer, La fabrique des sciences modernes (Paris : Ed. du Seuil, 2014) (in collaboration with Frédérique Aït-Touati and Loïc Marcou), 444 pages.

Articles (2013-2017)

  • 'L'éternel retour du scandale ?', Hypothèses, 2012, Revue de l'école doctorale d'histoire de Paris I, 2013, n°1, p. 227-233.
  • 'Subversive Freedom: Libertine Anthropology and the Geography of Knowledge in Seventeenth-Century France', Early Modern French Studies, (2015), 37:2, 108-125.
  • 'Archaeological battles: scientific controversies and public concerns in Nineteenth-Century Paris and London', European Review of History, submitted.
  • 'La mappemonde sceptique : une géographie des libertins érudits', Littérature classique, submitted.
  • 'Dissambling Archaeology, reassembling Modern World: questions', introduction (with William Carruthers), accepted.
  • 'The pillar of Metropolitan Greatness: the long making of an archaeological object', History of Science, submitted.

Chapters (2013-2017)

  • 'Préface', in Rémi Campos, François-Joseph Fétis musicographe, Genève, Droz-Haute Ecole de Musique de Genève, 2013, p. 7-10.
  • 'Histoire et sciences sociales: nouveaux voisinages', in Christophe Granger (dir.), A quoi pensent les historiens?, Paris, Autrement, 2013, p. 48-62.
  • 'Libertine Paris', in Anna-Louise Milne (éd.), CambridgeCompanion to the Literature of Paris, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2013, p. 33-49.
  • 'Lieux, sociabilité et pratiques philosophiques', in Luc Foisneau (ed.), Dictionnaire des philosophes français du XVIIe siècle, Paris, CNRS Editions, 2014, p. 83-86.
  • 'Une Athènes du Nord ? L’université d’Edimbourg au miroir de la ville au XVIIIe siècle. Un bilan historiographique', in Boris Noguès et Thierry Amalou (eds), Les universités dans la ville, XVIe-XVIIIe siècle (Rennes, PUR, 2013), p. 157-175.
  • 'Lumières partisanes. La sociabilité franco-écossaise à l'épreuve de la britishness dans la seconde moitié du XVIIIe siècle', in Thierry Belguic et Katherine Reddy (eds.), L'art de l'échange (Paris, Hermann, 2014), p. 57-82.
  • 'Philosophe, philosopher', in Daniel Brewer (ed.), Cambridge Companion to the French Enlightenment, (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2014), p. 153-166.
  • 'Capitalizing Manuscripts, confronting Empires: Anquetil-Duperron and the Economy of Oriental knowledge in the context of the Seven Years’ War', in Antonella Romano and al. (eds.), Negotiating Knowledge in Early Modern Empires. A Decentered View (1500-1800) (New York, Palgrave MacMillan, 2014) p. 109-128.
  • 'Lumières', Dictionnaire d'histoire sous la direction de Claude Gauvard et de Jean-François Sirinelli (Paris, PUF, 2014).
  • 'La nature de New York a-t-elle une histoire ?', in Isabelle Brian (ed.), Le lieu et le moment. Mélanges offerts à Alain Cabantous (Paris, Publications de la Sorbonne, 2014), p. 235-256.
  • 'Savants', in  Bronislaw Baczko, Michel Porret, François Rosset (eds.), Dictionnaire critique des utopies au temps des Lumières (Geneva: Droz, 2016), p. 1179-1197.
  • 'Digging Authority: Archaeological Controversies and the Recognition of the Metropolitan past in Early Eighteenth-Century Paris', in Paddy Bullard and Alexis Tadié (eds.), Ancients and Moderns in Early Modern Europe. Comparative Perspectives (Oxford: Oxford University Studies, 2016), p. 55-69.
  • 'Résistances des traditions, pensées de l'avenir', in Christophe Charle et Laurent Jeanpierre (eds.), Histoire de la vie intellectuelle en France, vol. I (Paris: Le Seuil, 2016), p. 159-181.
  • 'Les collections : des cabinets aux musées'; 'La ville et les savoirs'; 'République des lettres, République des sciences'; 'Les sciences à l'épreuve du libertinage', in Liliane Hilaire-Pérez et al (dir.), L'europe des savants et des techniques (Rennes, PUR, 2016).
  • 'Le climat politique de 1610' et 'Descartes, c'est le monde!' in Patrick Boucheron (ed.), Histoire mondiale de la France (Paris: Le Seuil, 2017).
  • "The academisation of Parisian Sciences", in Mordechai Feingold (ed.), The academies in Europe (Brills, 2017).
  • "At the Borders of the Metropolis: Writing the Natural History of Paris in Eighteenth-Century", in Garrod, Raphaële, Kathryn Murphy and Paul J. Smith (eds), Natural History in Early Modern France: The Poetics of an Epistemic Genre, Intersections (Leiden: Brill, Intersections, 2017), forthcoming.
  • "La Ilustración sobre el río Hudson: tenían filosofía los Mohawks?”, François Regourd and Carmen Salazar (ed), Americanización. Ciencias y saberes (Lima: 2017) (Enlightenment on Hudson River. Did Mohawks have a philosophy?")
  • "Between Global and Local, Paris as a capital city of the naturalist world in the age of Linneaus", in Hanna Hodacks, Kenneth Nyberg and Stéphane Van Damme (eds), Empire's Nature. A Global History of Linnean Science, (Oxford: SVEC, 2018), forthcoming.

Page last updated on 07 March 2017