Teaching and Presentations
I am the head supervisor for Paper 1, Part II History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge, covering the early history of science and medicine, from antiquity to 1800. I supervise third-year undergraduate students in "Revisiting the Scientific Revolution," "Early Medicine," "Visual and Material Culture," and "Traditions of Knowledge and Healing," "Islamic and Chinese Science," "Natural Knowledge in the Enlightenment," "Institutions of Natural Knowledge Production," "Early Modern Natural Knowledge," "Topics in the Social History of Medicine," "Islamic and Chinese Medicine," and "Medicine and Natural History 1500-1800." I have also supervised Paper 2, Part II History and Philosophy of Science, on "Modern Science and Technology in East Asia." In Spring 2022, I gave two invited lectures to undergraduates at Utrecht University: one on "The Needham Question" and the other on "The Intellectual Origins of Race and Racism in Western Europe."
Selected Conference Presentations
'Archaeology, Astronomy, or Hermeneutics? The Jesuit China mission and different ways of knowing the deep past in Europe' at the 9th European Society for the History of Science Conference: Visual, Material and Sensory Cultures of Science (Online), August-September 2020.
'Monuments, hermeneutics, or astronomy? The Jesuit China mission and the invention of "philosophical history"' at the BSHS Global Digital History of Science Festival (Online: click here to watch), July 2020.
'Pas si candide, M. Voltaire: Voltaire's weaponisation of the Ezourvedam in the emergence of theories of human genesis, 1760-1799' at the British Society for Literature and Science Annual Conference (Online), April 2020.
'Retracing the associations between depictions of astrologers in sixteenth-century printed books' (poster presentation) at Institutions and book market during the Early Modern period: between regulation and promotion, February 2020, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Seville, Spain.
'Writers of the Lost Ark: Catholic Historiographies of Science in the Chinese Rites Controversy, c. 1640-1742' at the European Society for the History of Science 1st Young Scholar Conference on 'Transcultural Knowledge', September 2019, l'Observatoire de Paris, Paris, France.
'Pas si candide, M. Voltaire: an examination of the Ezourvedam's role in shaping theories of human genesis, 1760-1799' at the 14th Forum: Literature and Science History, July 2019, Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin, Germany.
I organised the "Credibility in Circulation" session at the History of Science Society Virtual Forum 2020.
Chair: Pratik Chakrabarti. Presenters: Gianamar Giovannetti-Singh, Eszter Csillag, Margaret Gaida. Commentator: Alexander Statman.
Abstract: Little over a decade ago Kapil Raj published his ground-breaking book Relocating Modern Science, which argued that historians of science have much to learn from relocating their studies of the construction of knowledge from specific, localized sites to spaces of circulation. This shift, Raj argues, reveals the indispensable role played by non-European actors and knowledges in the co-construction of methods and practices that have gone on to shape modern "Western" science. Since then, historians-particularly those striving to understand the non-Western character of what has elsewhere been characterized as "European modernity"-have employed Raj's methods to great effect. One key issue that deserves further exploration, using episodes from across historical and geographical demarcations, is that of the credibility of non-European methods in shaping the emergent disciplines associated with "European" or "global" modernity. For example, in his recent work on the "first global turn," Alexander Statman suggested that Europeans' encounters with Chinese history in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries radically reshaped conceptions of what "world history" could look like as an academic discipline. How does a shift from local to circulating spaces change the way historians of science can analyze the construction of credibility? The papers in this panel explore the processes involved in constructing credibility in spaces of circulation and examine whether these reveal previously under-appreciated non-European agency involved in the development of ostensibly "European" methods in emergent disciplines during the Enlightenment. The session seeks to problematize the categories of "credibility," "circulation," and "modernity" in the historical analysis of the emergence of certain disciplinary practices-in particular world historical, astronomical, and natural historical methodologies-in Europe between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries.
Delivering a guest lecture on "Race, Capitalism, and the Enlightenment" at Utrecht University, May 2022.
Presenting 'Monuments, astronomy, or hermeneutics? China and the invention of Enlightenment world history' at the History of Science Society Virtual Forum 2020, October 2020.
Presenting 'Archaeology, Astronomy, or Hermeneutics? The Jesuit China mission and different ways of knowing the deep past in Europe' at the European Society for the History of Science 9th Annual Conference, September 2020.