Knowledge and Copyright

The Fall 2018 issue of the GHI Bulletin contains a forum entitled “Knowledge and Copyright in Historical Perspective,” edited by Sarah Beringer and Atiba Pertilla. The forum in this free access publication comprises an introduction and three articles:

  • “Mondrian’s Dress: Copying (and) the Couture Copy” by Nancy J. Troy;
  • “Japanese Industrial Espionage, Foreign Direct Investment, and the Decline of the U.S. Industrial Base in the 1980s,” by Mario Daniels;
  • “Why Are Universities Open-Access Laggards?” by Peter Baldwin.

Knowledge Notes

Calculation

Anker Restaurant Cash Register 150-99 E at Heinz Nixdorf Museumsforum (Photo by Tomas Vogt)

Being a human activity, calculation has a history, even if its operations yield “facts” apparently true in any context. One plus one might always be two, but the methods to arrive at such results, not to mention what they might mean, are another matter. Recent histories involving calculation on this blog include Staffan Müller-Wille and Giuditta Parolini, “Punnett Squares and Hybrid Crosses: How Mendelians Learned Their Trade by the Book”; D. Senthil Babu, “Handbooks of the Mind into Ready Reckoners in Print: The Story of the ‘Encuvati’ in the Nineteenth Century”; and Karine Chemla, “Reading and (Re-)​Classifying Canonical Instructions of the Past: Commentaries on ‘The Nine Chapters on Mathematical Procedures’…” Continue reading “Calculation”

Challenging Inherited Knowledge Systems

From a report by Jason Farago on a noteworthy exhibit at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg, Germany:

By and large, “Mobile Worlds” delivers on its contention that European museums need to do much more than just restitute plundered objects in their collections, important as that is. A 21st-century universal museum has to unsettle the very labels that the age of imperialism bequeathed to us: nations and races, East and West, art and craft. It’s not enough just to call for “decolonization,” a recent watchword in European museum studies; the whole fiction of cultural purity has to go, too. Any serious museum can only be a museum of our entangled past and present. The game is to not to tear down the walls, but to narrate those entanglements so that a new, global audience recognizes itself within them.

See the whole piece in the New York Times.