Working with Paper: Gendered Practices in the History of Knowledge

Working with Paper: Gendered Practices in the History of Knowledge


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Working with Paper builds on a growing interest in the materials of science by exploring the gendered uses and meanings of paper tools and technologies, considering how notions of gender impacted paper practices and in turn how paper may have structured knowledge about gender. Through a series of dynamic investigations covering Europe and North America and spanning the early modern period to the twentieth century, this volume breaks new ground by examining material histories of paper and the gendered worlds that made them. Contributors explore diverse uses of paper—from healing to phrenological analysis to model making to data processing—which often occurred in highly gendered, yet seemingly divergent spaces, such as laboratories and kitchens, court rooms and boutiques, ladies’ chambers and artisanal workshops, foundling houses and colonial hospitals, and college gymnasiums and state office buildings. Together, they reveal how notions of masculinity and femininity became embedded in and expressed through the materials of daily life. Working with Paper uncovers the intricate negotiations of power and difference underlying epistemic practices, forging a material history of knowledge in which quotidian and scholarly practices are intimately linked.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780822945598
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
Publication date: 06/25/2019
Edition description: 1
Pages: 376
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Carla Bittel is associate professor of history at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

Elaine Leong is lecturer in history at University College London.

Christine von Oertzen is senior research scholar in Department II at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: Paper, Gender, and the History of Knowledge Carla Bittel Elaine Leong Christine von Oertzen 1

Part I Beyond the Page: The Sociomaterial History of Paper

1 Letter Writing and Paper Connoisseurship in Elite Households in Early Modern England Heather Wolfe 17

2 Papering the Household: Paper, Recipes, and Everyday Technologies in Early Modern England Elaine Leong 32

3 The Sociomateriality of Waste and Scrap Paper in Eighteenth-Century England Simon Werrett 46

4 Paper Trials, Multiple Masculinities, and the Oeconomy of Honor Gabriella Szalay 60

Part II Transcending Boundaries Tools and Technologies

5 Bookkeeping for Caring: Notebooks, Parchment Slips, and Enlightened Medical Arithmetic in Madrid's Foundling House Elena Serrano 77

6 Unpacking the Phrenological Toolkit: Knowledge and Identity in Antebellum America Carla Bittel 91

7 Keeping Prussia's House in Order: Census Cards, Housewifery, and the States Data Compilation Christine von Oertzen 108

8 Tracing Paper, the Posture Sciences, and the Mapping of the Female Body Beth Linker 124

Color Plates Follow Page 139

Part III Knowledge, Power, and the Everyday

9 A Letter Is a Paper House: Home, Family, and Natural Knowledge Elizabeth Yale 145

10 Family Notebooks, Mnemotechnics, and the Rational Education of Margaret Monro Matthew Daniel Eddy 160

11 Papier-Mâché Anatomical Models: The Making of Reform and Empire in Nineteenth-Century France and Beyond Anna Maerker 177

12 Women Who Worked with Documents to Rationalize Reproduction Dan Bouk 193

Afterword: Making and Using Paper in Late Imperial China: Comparative Reflections on Working and Knowing beyond the Page Jacob Eyferth 208

Notes 225

Selected Bibliography 283

List of Contributors 297

Index 301

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