CfP for Workshop: Pharmacopoeias in the Early Modern World

17-1-royal-pharmacopoeia-largeJoseph Gabriel (out of University of Wisconsin) is hosting a workshop in Madison April 1st and 2nd, 2016 titled Organizing the World of Healing Goods: Materia Medica, Pharmacopeias, and the Codification of Therapeutic Knowledge in the Early Modern World for which he has issued a general call for papers.


According to his post on H-Sci-Med-Tech:

  • Authors of accepted proposals will be invited to present pre-circulated drafts of their papers
  • They expect that the workshop will lead to the publication of an edited volume on the topic by a university press.
  • The organizers encourage submissions by scholars both in the United States and in other parts of the world, as well as submissions from independent scholars, graduate students, and other groups underrepresented in academic and scholarly publishing.
  • A small honorarium will be provided to each participant upon receipt of the final version of accepted papers.
  • Funding for travel to Madison and lodging will be available to participants who do not have access to institutional support.
  • Submission deadline is September 1 2015. Please submit a short proposal (no more than two pages) and a curriculum vitae to Matthew Crawford at and Joe Gabriel at

The seminar description is as follows: 

We seek proposals for papers related to the theme of materia medica, national pharmacopeias, and the scientific, economic, and political organization of therapeutic knowledge in the early modern world. In particular, we are interested in papers that examine the role of pharmacopeias in the creation and organization of scientific knowledge about materia medica and pharmaceuticals during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The establishment and promulgation of pharmacopeias by municipal, national and imperial governments during this period can be understood as efforts to standardize knowledge and practice under normative frameworks that worked to advance state interests as well as imperial and national aspirations. As such, these efforts inevitably confronted local forms of epistemic and therapeutic diversity, both in their efforts to consolidate this diversity under unified regimes of knowledge and in the fact that such diversity itself impacted the scope and direction of these efforts. At the same time, efforts to establish and promulgate pharmacopoeias grew out of the extension of imperial power, the global circulation of therapeutic goods, the development of transnational networks of knowledge and authority, and other complex dynamics. Efforts to establish and promote pharmacopoeias thus took place at the intersection of the local and the national, the center and the periphery, “traditional knowledge” and “modern science,” and other binaries that we use to understand the past.

Note by Gabriel: In addition to papers on the 18th and early 19th centuries, we are also very interested in scholarship that focuses on the late 15th to 17th centuries.