Alexandra Challenger

My dissertation project examines the variety of roles that images played in sixteenth-century cosmography texts. Cosmography, a discipline that used latitude and longitude to map the known territories of the world, required its practitioners to be familiar both with instruments used for surveying land as well as for locating celestial bodies in the heavens. Perhaps as a result of these inherently observational needs, authors like the mathematician, Peter Apian, used print technology in order to create a variety of useable paper instruments within his textbooks that taught readers cosmographic concepts and could also be used to perform calculations. My research explores how the production of these instruments was spurred, in part, by a diverse new readership and resulted in new epistemic functions for scientific images. During my time in Wolfenbüttel, I plan to examine copies of Apian’s Astronomicum Caesareum, Instrument buch, and Cosmographicus liber, as well as a number of other sixteenth-century cosmographic works.