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Colloguium: Michael Harbsmeier

On Niebuhrs Method: Scientific Instructions and Field Practice in Arabia Felix 1761-67

Oplysninger om arrangementet


Mandag 19. marts 2012,  kl. 14:15 - 15:45


building 1525 - room 323

Abstract: If fieldwork can be defined as the practice of following or trying to follow the advice and instructions issued in advance by scholarly and scientific authorities Niebuhr deserves a special place indeed in the history of that practice. In this paper I will a closer look at Niebuhrs method from three different angels of comparison: starting with some of his predecessors I will try to shed light on the originality of his approach. Turning to some of Niebuhrs critical portrayals of other travellers he met in the field will guide us to Niebuhrs own understading of his method. Turning to how Herder and later scholars have praised and evaluated Niebuhrs contributions to scholarship finally will lead to a discussion of how the role of fieldwork has been underestimated and even silenced in later histories of scholarship and science.

 Followed by small celebration of the publication of Nielsen, Harbsmeier & Ries (Eds.) ‘Scientists and Scholars in the Field: Studies in the History of Fieldwork and Scientific Expeditions”, Aarhus University Press.