Hardback
April 18, 2023
9781421445922
English
376
142534
20
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.08 Inches (US)
$60.00 USD, £44.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
April 18, 2023
9781421445939
9781421445922
English
376
142534
20
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$60.00 USD, £44.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

The Interlopers

Early Stuart Projects and the Undisciplining of Knowledge

A reframing of how scientific knowledge was produced in the early modern world.

Many accounts of the scientific revolution portray it as a time when scientists disciplined knowledge by first disciplining their own behavior. According to these views, scientists such as Francis Bacon produced certain knowledge by pacifying their emotions and concentrating on method. In The Interlopers, Vera Keller rejects this emphasis on discipline and instead argues that what distinguished early modernity was a navigation away from restraint and toward the violent blending of knowledge from across society and around the globe.

Keller follows early seventeenth-century English "projectors" as they traversed the world, pursuing outrageous entrepreneurial schemes along the way. These interlopers were developing a different culture of knowledge, one that aimed to take advantage of the disorder created by the rise of science and technological advances. They sought to deploy the first submarine in the Indian Ocean, raise silkworms in Virginia, and establish the English slave trade. These projectors developed a culture of extreme risk-taking, uniting global capitalism with martial values of violent conquest. They saw the world as a riskscape of empty spaces, disposable people, and unlimited resources.

By analyzing the disasters—as well as a few successes—of the interlopers she studies, Keller offers a new interpretation of the nature of early modern knowledge itself. While many influential accounts of the period characterize European modernity as a disciplining or civilizing process, The Interlopers argues that early modernity instead entailed a great undisciplining that entangled capitalism, colonialism, and science.

About the Author

Vera Keller (EUGENE, OR) is a professor of history at the University of Oregon. She is the author of Knowledge and the Public Interest, 1575–1725.

Endorsements

"The Interlopers represents an important and innovative contribution to our understanding of projects, projectors, and projecting culture in early Stuart England. Keller argues convincingly that projecting was far more deeply embedded in the early Stuart court than has often been assumed. Projects were not the work of isolated, ambitious individuals struggling to gain access to crown patronage; they were the province of whole groups of elite patrons and courtiers, starting with the king. Keller is a leading scholar in the study of early modern projects, and her argument here promises to shape the scholarship on this topic in fundamental ways."

- Eric H. Ash, Wayne State University, author of The Draining of the Fens: Projectors, Popular Politics, and State Building in Early Modern England

"Challenging the narrative that modernity was built on the foundation of a systematically ordered and disciplined science, Vera Keller brilliantly shows how intellectual interlopers engaging in a variety of risky projects contributed to the undisciplining of knowledge. The Interlopers, a fascinating and panoramic account, radically changes the ways we think about science, curiosity, and power during the advent of capitalism."

- Carl Wennerlind, Barnard College, Columbia University

"Was the scientific revolution the beginning of organized curiosity or an early modern smashup where illegal traders raided the world like pirates? Following interlopers and projectors across the high seas, Vera Keller shrewdly re-envisions the origins of modern science not as foundation and order but invasion and chaos."

- James Delbourgo, author of Collecting the World: Hans Sloane and the Origins of the British Museum

"Vera Keller's arresting new book on 'Projectors' invites us to rethink the intellectual landscape of early modern Europe. In place of civil and dispassionate rationalists Keller offers us impassioned opportunists, or 'interlopers': greedy, piratical and far from risk averse, recombining their pillaged knowledge in temporary, improvised forms, riding roughshod over disciplinary and social divides—'knowledge on the loose'."

- Stephen Clucas, Birkbeck, University of London

"Upending the view that early modern science was a genteel and methodical affair, Keller reveals that the pursuit of knowledge in that formative period was an adventurous, ruthless, predatory—and not infrequently violent—business. Like today's charismatic technologists, the 'projectors' of the sixteenth century moved fast and broke things. As exhilarating as it is erudite, The Interlopers will change how you think about innovation, in 1623 and 2023."

- Will Deringer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, author of Calculated Values: Finance, Politics, and the Quantitative Age

"As adventurous and interdisciplinary as her subjects, in this important book Vera Keller challenges long-held understandings of the knowledge cultures and intellectual style underpinning early modern statecraft, technology, commerce, and colonialism. Only a scholar of Keller's extraordinary range and erudition could have produced such a book."

- Anne Goldgar, University of Southern California
Johns Hopkins University Press
From 17

9781421445922 : the-interlopers-keller
Hardback
April 18, 2023
$60.00 USD
9781421445939 : the-interlopers-keller
Electronic book text
April 18, 2023
$60.00 USD

Other Titles in HISTORY / Social History

Knights of the Golden Rule

Peter J. Frederick
Dec 2025 - University Press of Kentucky
$30.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$12.95 USD - Electronic book text

"A Third Reich, as I See It"

Janosch Steuwer, translated by Bernard Heise
Apr 2023 - Indiana University Press
$100.00 USD - Hardback
$70.00 USD - Paperback / softback

The Maker of Pedigrees

Markus Friedrich
Apr 2023 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$60.00 USD - Hardback
$60.00 USD - Electronic book text