The Intrinsic Place. Space as a Measurable Entity in Early Modern Art and Science

Starting with Descartes’ definition of space as “intrinsic” or “internal place,” the masterclass will focus on the development of linear perspective in the context of those practical sciences strongly related with the concept of measure, namely, surveying and cartography. Theory and practice of architecture will also be discussed as a basic training for any skilled master of perspective. A special insight will be devoted to Piero della Francesca’s drawings (space as a visual entity) in relation to the geometrical art of stonemasons (space as a physical entity).



May 30, 2018

10.30am–1pm | MPIWG, Main Conference Room
Filippo Camerota (Museo Galileo, Florence): “The Intrinsic Place. Space as a Measurable Entity in Early Modern Art and Science”
Introduction by Matteo Valleriani (MPIWG)

Closed Seminar (registration required)
2pm–4.30pm | MPIWG Villa, Room V005


For further information and registration please contact Angela Axworthy (aaxworthy [at] mpiwg-berlin [dot] mpg [dot] de) or Elizabeth Merrill (emerrill [at] mpiwg-berlin [dot] mpg [dot] de).

Knowledge in Translation

What happens when knowledge is transferred across cultural boundaries? How is it affected by moving between different media and passing through institutional frameworks? This series of three two-day colloquia will explore the translation of knowledge in different contexts over time and space. Each event consists of a public lecture and a panel discussion on the first day, and a closed group masterclass on the second day.


Knowledge Translation in Ancient Mesopotamia

Christine Proust (CNRS, Paris)

June 4, 2018 | MPIWG, Main Conference Room
2–3.45pm Lecture: “From Clay to Modern Editions: the Metamorphoses of Numbers”
4.15–6pm Panel Discussion with Matteo Valleriani (MPIWG) and Tim Gardom, working as part of the Haley Sharpe Design team

June 5, 2018 | MPIWG, Room 215
11am-3pm Masterclass: “Tensions between Variability of Ancient Texts and Normativity of Databases: Case Studies”*


Translation in Late Imperial China

Joachim Kurtz (Heidelberg University)

June 20, 2018 | MPIWG, Main Conference Room
2–3.45pm Lecture: “Of Lexical Shells and Textual Monstrosities: Tales of Translation in Late Imperial China”
4.15–6pm Panel Discussion with Dagmar Schäfer and Florence Hsia (MPIWG)
June 21, 2018 | MPIWG, Room 215
11am-3pm Masterclass: “Chasing Science on the Move: Translation, Domestication, Transformation”*


Translation in Modern Eastern Europe

Michael Gordin (Princeton University)

July 5, 2018 | HU Berlin, Main Building, Room 2249a “Marmorsaal”
2–3.45pm Lecture: “Machine Translation Before and After the Iron Curtain”
4.15–6pm Panel Discussion with Charu Singh (University of Cambridge)
July 6, 2018 | MPIWG Villa, Room 005
11am-3pm Masterclass “Science in a ‘Minor Language’”*


Organized by Maria Avxentevskaya, Minakshi Menon, Robert Middeke-Conlin, Ion Mihailescu, and Dror Weil.


* Preregistration is required. Please email us at:
translation_masterclass [at] mpiwg-berlin [dot] mpg [dot] de


In May and June 2018, the postocs of the Berlin Center organize a lecture and seminar series on the history of knowledge. For further information about the postdoc program or the lecture series, please contact Dr. Hansjakob Ziemer (hjziemer [at] mpiwg-berlin [dot] mpg [dot] de).