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What is the relationship between the mysterious ‘general graphometer’ and an eighteenth-century book of female-authored poetry? How can the graphometer’s technical drawing capacities help us to develop a fresh perspective on the strategies for authorial presentation in the early modern period?
Event details of ACSEM Object Colloquium: Graphometer
11 April 2023
15:30 -17:00

Feike Dietz, recently appointed as Professor of Dutch Literature at UvA, and Lieke van Deinsen, assistant research professor at KU Leuven, will explore the dynamics between two types of objects – scientific instruments and books of poetry – that are usually studied by different specialists, respectively historians of science and literary historians. Working on the intersection of these objects and disciplines, they will reveal how the eighteenth-century invention of the general graphometer by the productive inventor Antoine George Eckhardt created new possibilities for the production of silhouette portraits. The innovative instrument was used by, among others, the scientist Johann Friedrich Hennert, to create a portrait of his wife Petronella Johanna de Timmerman. We aim to analyse how this male-created image was included in a book of poetry, and interacted with poems produced by De Timmerman herself.

Following their material, visual and textual traces, Dietz and Van Deinsen will demonstrate that the general graphometer, in its continuous interaction with textual representations, spurred new visual and material possibilities to capture as well as manipulate the world, and as such resembled the function of poetry as an instrument of exploration and represention.

Spoken language: Dutch.
Drinks on location (at the UB) afterwards.
Everyone is welcome at the lecture; registration is not necessary.

Amsterdam Centre for Studies in Early Modernity (ACSEM)

ACSEM is formerly knows as Amsterdam Centre for the Study of the Golden Age. The new name comes with a new annual program - the Object Quolloquia Series. The series has the overarching theme: Exploring the World through the Material Turn. All speakers have taken up the challenge of creating a coherent, interdisciplinary program. Thanks to them, it promises to be a year of in-depth discussion and new acquaintances. The full annual program can be found below. 

The Object Quolloquia Series

The Object Colloquia Series explores the world through the material turn. Each interdisciplinary duo of speakers takes one object or product as a point of departure to study and discuss various aspects of Early Modern art, culture, and history. These series are organized by the Amsterdam Centre for Studies in Early Modernity (ACSEM).

University Library

Room Doelenzaal
Singel 425
1012 WP Amsterdam