My name is Vincent Roy-Di Piazza, I am an early modern historian of science, religion, medicine and Scandinavia, a DPhil student at Linacre College, Oxford, and the winner of the 2021 Jane Willis Kirkaldy Senior Prize in history of science at Oxford, for my essay titled: ‘Swedenborg, Africans and Slavery: From Cameralism to Swedish Colonialism, Abolitionism, and Millenarian Utopianism (1710-1799)’.
My doctoral dissertation focuses on the Swedish philosopher, parliamentarian and theologian Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772). During my DPhil at Linacre, I have published peer-reviewed articles on the plurality of worlds debate (Annals of Science, 2020) and the links between technoscientific development and neo-Latin literature in Sweden (Etudes Germaniques, 2021).
My latest research, distinguished by the Senior Kirkaldy Prize 2021, looked at the global intersection of abolitionism, economics and utopian millenarianism during the eighteenth century. In this research I made fresh contributions to the history of Sweden and the slave-trade, the global influence of Swedenborg’s ideas on the abolitionist movement during the 1780s, and finally, how those ideas intersected with the spread of Linnean science, capitalism, millenarianism and colonialism during the period.
The Kirkaldy Prize 2021 not only provides welcome financial support to carry on my research, but also further valuable recognition by senior academics as an early career scholar. I am most grateful to the Oxford Centre for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology for distinguishing this research, and I look forward to sharing its results in a future journal publication.
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