In the early modern period, European collectors of books and of works on paper did not merely read about the wider world: some also assembled works of their own. In this lecture, Surekha Davies shows how print and manuscript miscellanies and geographical works produced in Europe by geographers, naturalists, and collectors like Sir Hans Sloane were artefacts with which their compilers puzzled through the boundaries (or lack thereof) between human, animal, and the idea of the monster.
Surekha Davies, PhD, is the author of the multi-award winning Renaissance Ethnography and the Invention of the Human: New Worlds, Maps and Monsters (Cambridge UP, 2016). Her second book, Humans: A Monstrous History, is under contract with the University of California Press as a lead trade-list title (publication likely in fall 2024/winter 2025). She has held faculty and postdoctoral positions in the US, the UK, and the Netherlands. She has received funding from, among others, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the John Carter Brown Library, the American Philosophical Society, the American Historical Association, the Library of Congress, and the Leverhulme Trust.
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