Event Date: Tuesday 9 November 2010
Room B34 Birkbeck Main Building
Loss and Gain: the social history of knowledge 1750-2000
Public lecture given by Professor Peter Burke (BIH Visting Fellow)
Peter Burke – Loss and Gain: the social history of knowledge, 1750-2000
This lecture summarizes a chapter in a book I am currently writing on the social history of knowledge from the Encyclopédie to Wikipedia, a sequel to an earlier volume on knowledge from Gutenberg to Diderot. In writing about the history of knowledge, it is all too easy to adopt a triumphalistic tone. There were indeed many triumphs in the story, but the negative side should not be forgotten. Hence this lecture will emphasize the processes of hiding knowledge, destroying knowledge and especially that of discarding knowledge. It might indeed have been entitled ‘A social history of (intellectual) rubbish’.
Peter Burke was Professor of Cultural History, University of Cambridge, until his retirement, and remains a Fellow of Emmanuel College. His twenty-odd books include A Social History of Knowledge from Gutenberg to Diderot (2000).
Introduction by Dr Filippo De Vito .