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The next Vossius seminar will take place online via zoom, on Monday 25 May, 16.00h-17.00h. Vossius fellow Richard Calis from Princeton University will talk about his research.

Detail Summary
Date 25 May 2020
Time 16:00 -17:00

If you are interested to join the seminar, send a message to with “Join Vossius seminar” in the subject header. We will then send you a link that allows you to follow the talk via zoom. The talk will last 40 minutes, followed by ca 20 minutes discussion.



Early Modern Ethnography and the New History of Knowledge: the case of Martin Crusius (1526-1607)


In the course of the sixteenth century Martin Crusius (1526-1607), a professor of Latin and Greek at the university of Tübingen, compiled the period’s ethnographic record of Greek life under Ottoman rule. My paper explores precisely how Crusius amassed this wealth of information. It focuses in particular on the dozens of Greek Orthodox Christians who —while collecting alms to ransom captured family members— visited Crusius in his Tübingen home and informed him about their world. The broader aim of anatomizing these cross-cultural conversations is to grasp in great and granular detail how early modern scholars like Crusius studied cultures that were not their own. Early modern ethnography, I argue, was one among many period forms of knowledge making in which tropes and techniques from several fields and disciplines came together fruitfully. It was a pursuit in which practices of reading and observing and first- and second-hand experiences merged —and as such it can help us think about the parameters of what is now increasingly often called the history of knowledge.