Monday 12 October, 16:00 (BST) Online with Zoom
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Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology
Yusen Yu (University of Oxford)
“The Moslems want to see everything from close by”: seeing in pre-modern Eurasia
In 1626 , to gift their Mughal host in India, Francisco Pelsaert, an agent for the Dutch East India Company, sent the following request to his superiors in Europe: “Send us two or three good battle pictures, painted by an artist with a pleasing style, for the Moslems (Muslims) want to see everything from close by.” My talk starts with a discussion of the (in)validity of Pelsaertʼs observation and bring together a range of case studies to examine the relationship between objects and its beholders in Muslim societies in pre-modern Eurasia. It will also tentatively explore the link of the viewing habitus with the science of optics.
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