James Poskett

Historian of science, empire and print

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Materials of the Mind: Phrenology and the Making of a Global Science, 1815–1920

During the nineteenth century, phrenologists interacted globally: skulls were collected in China and South America, societies cross-circulated journals between Edinburgh and Calcutta, and translations of French phrenological texts were imported into Melbourne and Boston.

My first book will explore the role of this global circulation in the making of phrenological knowledge.

Empires of Useful Knowledge: Science, Technology and the Global Politics of Print, 1815–1860

I am undertaking postdoctoral research as the Adrian Research Fellow at Darwin College, University of Cambridge.

My new project suggests how the material techniques of book history provide a promising methodology for writing the global history of science.

Currently, I am focusing on the global publication and reception history of the useful knowledge movement.