Multi-year Grant for European History

David Harris Sacks, Reed’s Richard F. Scholz Professor of History and Humanities, is part of a 17-member interdisciplinary research team of co-applicants which has been awarded a grant of more than $2.4 million CDN for their project “Making Publics: Markets, Media, and Association in Early Modern Europe, 1500–1700.”

The grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada runs for five years, concluding in 2010. As a co-applicant, Sacks will receive an annual stipend to support his research during the grant period.

Sacks’ team is lead by Paul Yachnin, the Tomlinson Professor of Shakespeare Studies at McGill University in Montreal. The research team is pursuing interdisciplinary studies of the formation of diverse publics in politics, religion, natural sciences, literature, and the arts.

Sacks is one of four early modern European historians working on the project. “In our effort to understand the contribution early modern publics have made to the emergence of modernity, it has been my particular mission to ensure that the importance of Europe’s increasing involvement with the wider world is kept in view throughout the life of the project,” Sacks says.

In addition, Sacks serves on the project’s seven-person management committee, and will take over co-leadership of the team in 2008–09, coordinating several international meetings in partnership with institutions in the United Kingdom.

As an expert in early modern Britain, Europe, and the Atlantic world, Sacks will assist in putting European exploration of, and trade with, the Americas and the East in the context of the project’s aims. “The common focus of our joint efforts during 2008–09,” Sacks explains, “will be the reception into Europe of the new knowledge of the world generated in the fields of natural history and geographical discovery, and the contributions the incorporation of this new knowledge made to the development of European cultural institutions: such as printing and publishing, museum collection, and public performance of theater and music.”