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This multidisciplinary collection of essays provides a critical and comprehensive understanding of how knowledge has been made, moved and used, by whom and for what purpose. To explain how new knowledge emerges, this volume offers a two-fold conceptual move: challenging both the premise of insurmountable differences between confined, autarkic cultures and the linear, nation-centered approach to the spread of immutable stocks of knowledge. Rather, the conceptual focus of the book is on the circulation, amalgamation and reconfiguration of locally shaped bodies of knowledge on a broader, global scale. The authors emphasize that the histories of interaction have been made less transparent through the study of cultural representations thus distorting the view of how knowledge is actually produced.
Leading scholars from a range of fields, including history, philosophy, social anthropology and comparative culture research, have contributed chapters which cover the period from the early modern age to the present day and investigate settings in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Their particular focus is on areas that have largely been neglected until now. In this work, readers from many disciplines will find new approaches to writing the global history of knowledge-making, especially historians, scholars of the history and philosophy of science, and those in culture studies.