Professor Pamela H. Smith founded the Making and Knowing Project at Columbia University in 2014. She is Seth Low Professor of History at Columbia University and Founding Director of the Center for Science and Society at Columbia. At Columbia, she teaches history of early modern Europe and the history of science. She is the author of The Business of Alchemy: Science and Culture in the Holy Roman Empire (Princeton 1994; 1995 Pfizer Prize), and The Body of the Artisan: Art and Experience in the Scientific Revolution (Chicago 2004; 2005 Leo Gershoy Prize). Her work on alchemy, artisans, and the making of vernacular and scientific knowledge has been supported by fellowships at the Wissenschafts-Kolleg, as a Guggenheim Fellow, a Getty Scholar, a Samuel Kress Fellow at the Center for the Advanced Study of the Visual Arts in Washington, DC, and by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, and the National Science Foundation. Her current research focuses on attitudes to nature in early modern Europe and the Scientific Revolution, with particular attention to craft knowledge and historical techniques.
Current Postdoctoral Scholars
Tianna Uchacz (2016-19), Lecturer-in-Discipline (Department of History, Columbia University) and Research Fellow (Chemical Heritage Foundation) is the Making and Knowing Project’s Postdoctoral Scholar from 2016 through 2019. She is an art historian specializing in sixteenth-century Netherlandish art. She received her PhD in 2016 from the University of Toronto with Ethan Matt Kavaler on the role of the sensual nude in Netherlandish art and culture before Iconoclasm. Dr. Uchacz held the inaugural James Loeb Fellowship for the Classical Tradition in Art and Architecture at the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte in Munich from May to July 2016, where she addressed an experimental approach to masculinity in Maerten van Heemskerck’s male nudes. At the Chemical Heritage Foundation, she is assisting with a collection digitization project. She is currently working on a book-length manuscript on the Netherlandish nude before Iconoclasm. She is also in the early stages of a new project on the art and intellectual culture of later Renaissance Bruges, with a particular focus on the work of Marcus Gheeraerts.
Sophie Pitman (2017-2020), is a historian specializing in early modern material culture. Her doctoral research, conducted at the University of Cambridge, explored the making, buying, wearing, regulation and bequeathal of clothing in early modern London. She is particularly interested in reconstruction as a methodology for historians, and collaborates with makers and museums in her research on clothing, materiality, and craft in the early modern era. At Columbia, Sophie is a lecturer in the Department of History and a postdoctoral scholar with the Making and Knowing Project at the Center for Science and Society. Her current research projects explore early modern dyes and color, and early modern tailoring practices and clothing during the English Civil War and Interregnum.
Tillmann Taape (2017-2020), is a historian of science working on craft knowledge, medicine, and the occult in the early modern period. After a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Sciences specializing in Genetics at the University of Cambridge, UK, he turned to the history of science and discovered the sixteenth-century German surgeon and apothecary Hieronymus Brunschwig, whose printed books became the subject of his recent PhD thesis. Tillmann is currently a lecturer in the Department of History and a postdoctoral scholar at the Making and Knowing Project. His research interests include the history of knowledge, the human body, and print culture.
Gerda Henkel Postdoctoral Scholar
Colin Debuiche (2017-2019), is an art historian specialized in sixteenth-century French architecture. As a Gerda Henkel Posdoctoral Scholar, he is currently studying Toulouse’s 16th Century artistic environment to gain knowledge on the context in which was written the Ms. Fr. 640 and exploring the history of manuscripts before they were integrated into Royal Collections. In 2016, he successfully defended, at the University of Toulouse, his PhD on Architecture and Erudite Culture at Toulouse during the Renaissance which was supervised by Professor Pascal Julien and Assistant Professor, Emmanuel Lurin (Paris IV-Sorbonne). His doctoral research explored the classical antique past of Toulouse, examining numerous buildings and ornament handbooks but also looking into hydraulic engineering and the rediscovery of mineral wealth in the Pyrenees Mountains (marble and metal). In March 2010, he received a grant from the Casa de Velázquez for research on French Architects in the Aragon at the Zaragoza Archives. In 2011 and 2016, he was a Teaching Fellow in Early Modern Art History at the University of Toulouse where he gave numerous lectures throughout his thesis. He is currently working on an exhibition dedicated to the Renaissance in Toulouse curated by Pascal Julien (March 2018).
Former Postdoctoral Scholars
Donna Bilak (2014-17), Lecturer-in-Discipline (Department of History, Columbia University) and Research Fellow (Chemical Heritage Foundation) was the Making and Knowing Project’s Postdoctoral Scholar from 2014 through 2017. Her research interests encompass early modern European history of science and alchemy, early modern emblem culture, as well as 19th-century jewelry history and technology. Dr. Bilak’s doctoral research reconstructed the life and times of a 17th-century Puritan alchemist who operated in England and America, and she was the 2013-14 Edelstein Postdoctoral Fellow at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia where her research focused on analysis of the Atalanta fugiens(1618), an alchemical emblem book that encodes laboratory technologies using music and images. Dr. Bilak has lectured extensively on the topics of early modern alchemy as well as jewelry history throughout North America and Europe, abstracts of past presentations can be found at dbilakpraxis.com.
Joel A. Klein (2014-17), Lecturer-in-Discipline (Department of History, Columbia University) and Research Fellow (Chemical Heritage Foundation) was the Making and Knowing Project’s Postdoctoral Scholar from 2014 through 2017. He specializes in the history of science and medicine in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, with a special emphasis on the interactions among chymistry, medicine and atomism in German universities. Dr. Klein has a particular interest in chymical and medical correspondence in the early Republic of Letters, and focuses on the development of experimental concepts and culture among a diverse group of physicians in Wittenberg and Breslau. Before coming to Columbia, he had several predoctoral research fellowships and also worked on the Chymistry of Isaac Newton Project, where he encoded Newton’s handwritten manuscripts and recreated several of his alchemical experiments in the laboratory. He is currently at work expanding his dissertation into a monograph.
Jenny Boulboullé (2014-16), Lecturer-in-Discipline (Department of History, Columbia University) and Research Fellow (Chemical Heritage Foundation) was the Making and Knowing Project’s Postdoctoral Scholar from 2014 through 2016. She studied Art History and Romance Languages in Heidelberg, Germany and continued her studies in Art History and Philosophy in the Netherlands (MA Art History, MA Philosophy, University of Amsterdam; PhD, Maastricht University, Dec 2012). She is currently a postdoctoral researcher with the European Research Council-funded Artechne Project at Utrecht University. Dr. Boulboullé’s research focuses on hands-on experiences, practices, materiality, and aesthetics, combining philosophical, historical, and ethnographic research methods. She is currently finalizing a research monograph entitled In Touch With Life: Investigating epistemic practices in the life sciences from a hands-on perspective, which is forthcoming with Duke University Press.
Naomi Rosenkranz serves as the main administrative liaison between the various research, editorial, and digital activities of the Project staff, collaborators, and participants. She supports the historical reconstruction research, oversees the Project’s chemical laboratory, and maintains the digital collaboration systems. She studied physics at Barnard College (class of 2015), concentrating her research experiences in materials science and engineering (including synthesis and characterization of superconductors and photoconductive properties of organic nanorods). In 2014-15, she served as the inaugural Science Resident in Conservation with Columbia’s Ancient Ink Lab, identifying and characterizing ancient carbon-based inks. She continued her investigation of inks at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, working with the departments of Scientific Research and Paper Conservation to examine medieval iron-tannate black inks through recipe reconstructions and spectral analysis of museum objects.
Marc Smith, Professor of Medieval and Modern Paleography, École nationale des chartes, is the Making and Knowing Project’s Lead Paleographer and co-directs the Text and Paleography Workshops. His research in paleography generally focuses on the evolution of the Latin alphabet in its long-term cultural, technical and cognitive conditions, and at present on the engravings of master-writers in modern times.
Fall 2014: Tonny Beentjes, Program Leader Metal Cnservation, University of Amsterdam
Spring 2015: Andrew Lacey, Artist and Independent Scholar
Fall 2015: Marjolijn Bol, Visiting scholar, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science and Department of Conservation and Restoration, University of Amsterdam
Spring 2016: Erma Hermens, Conservation and Restoration, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Fall 2017: Divya Anantharaman, Independent Taxidemist, Friends Forever Taxidermy; Morbid Anatomy Museum
Terry Catapano is the Making and Knowing Project’s Digital Lead, overseeing the development, maintenance, and preservation of the Project’s digital assets. He is an Information Analyst at the University of California, Berkeley’s Bancroft Library. Previously, Terry was a Librarian and Special Collections Analyst in Columbia Libraries’ Division of Digital Library and Scholarly Technologies. As Chair of the Society of American Archivists’ Schema Development Team, he was responsible for the development of Encoded Archival Description version 3, and is a member of the ArchivesSpace Technical Advisory Group and the Editorial Board for the Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS). Terry is also Vice President of Plazi Verein, leading the development of the TaxPub extension of the National Library of Medicine/National Center for Biotechnology Information Journal Publishing DTD, and working on digitizing, text mining, and providing open access to the literature of biological systematics, including collaborations with WikiData, the Encylopedia of Life, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), ZooBank, and CERN.
Alex Gil is Digital Scholarship Coordinator for the Humanities and History at Columbia University and affiliate Faculty of the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He serves as a collaborator with faculty, students and the library leveraging non-trivial technologies in humanities research, pedagogy and scholarly communications.
Caroline Surman serves as the Project Assistant with the Making and Knowing Project and the Center for Science and Society. She studied Anthropology with a minor in Environmental Science at Barnard College (class of 2016). In 2014, Caroline completed an anthropological study of craftsmen in New York City, focusing on the role of gender, class, and education in the art vs. craft dichotomy. She has also conducted qualitative and quantitative research in Denmark, Sweden, and Turkey. From 2013-2016, she served as a Student Coordinator with the Barnard Clay Collective, a student-run fully-functioning ceramic studio open to the Columbia community where she focused on administrative management and assisted in teaching ceramic techniques.
Emre Tetik (2016-), Computer Science, Columbia College
Sharan Suryanarayanan (2016), Computer Science, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences ’16
Bingyan Hu (2015-2016), Computer Science, Barnard College ’16
Atif Ahmed (Fall 2016-Spring 2017), Computer Science, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Mehul Kumar (Fall 2016-Spring 2017), Computer Science,School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Varsha Maragi (Fall 2016-Spring 2017), Computer Science,School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Jeffrey Wayno (Fall 2016-2017), Postdoctoral Research Scholar, Columbia University
Student Research Associates
Claire Sabel (2014-2015, Research Associate, Columbia University)
Colin Debuiche (2015-2016, Archival Researcher, University of Toulouse, France)
Sarah Munoz (2015-2016, Archival Researcher, University of Toulouse, France)
Miriam Pensack (2015-2016, Research Assistant, Columbia University)
Jeffrey Palframan (2015-2016, Graduate Research Assistant & Manager, Columbia University)
Philip Cherian (Summer 2016, Alliance Intern, École Polytechnique, France)
Margot Lyautey (Summer 2016, Alliance Intern, École Polytechnique, France)
Christine Hu (Summer 2016, High School Intern, Phillips Exeter Academy, NH)
Ludovic Touze-Peiffer (Summer 2017, Alliance Intern, École Polytechnique, France)
Charlotte Nahley (Summer 2017, High School Intern, Calhoun School, NY)
Hannah Elmer (Fall 2016-), History, Graduate School of Arts of Sciences
Nilam Patel (Fall 2015) Chemistry, Barnard College ’16
Bella Buscarino (Spring 2016), Chemistry, Barnard College ’16
Scott Sonnenberg (Spring 2016-Fall 2017), Economics and Art History, Columbia College
Other collaborators on the project include
– The Conservation Training Programs at the University of Amsterdam
– Technical Art History Group, School for Culture and Creative Arts, College of Arts, University of Glasgow
– Victoria and Albert Museum/Royal College of Art — History of Design Postgraduate Programme
Glenn Adamson — Independent Scholar
Marta Ajmar — Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Francesca Bewer — Harvard Art Museums
Michèle Bimbenet-Privat — Musée du Louvre, Paris
Sven Dupré — University of Utrecht
Erma Hermens — Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Dorothy Ko — Barnard College
Ann-Sophie Lehmann — University of Groningen
Pamela O. Long — Independent Scholar
Alexander Marr — Cambridge University
Ian McClure — Yale Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage, New Haven
Amy Meyers — Yale Center for British Art
Peter N. Miller — Bard Graduate Center
Peta Motture — Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Jonathan Prown — Chipstone Foundation, Milwaukee
Giorgio Riello — Warwick University
Ulinka Rublack — Cambridge University