Marieke Hendriksen

Scholar, Netherlands

Marieke Hendriksen (1982) is senior researcher at NL Lab, a humanities research laboratory at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) in Amsterdam. She is a historian of science, art and knowledge, who combines archival research with performative methods. Her research interests are the role of materiality and sensory experience in knowledge production in early modern science and art, particularly in the domains of medicine and chemistry. Marieke’s current research focuses on the questions: how can we understand historical epistemologies of both sensory and aesthetic taste? How was taste used to acquire and transmit knowledge in the past, and can we taste the past?

Tasting the Past

Why do we think we can understand the past by looking at historical paintings and reading historical texts, but not by eating historical dishes? Hendriksen’s project Tasting the Past re-examines the scholarly contention that historical taste is too ephemeral, intimate and subjective to study. Building on the insight that our bodies are a reservoir of sensory knowledge, the history of which cannot be understood purely intellectually, she will develop a case study – reconstructing and consuming early modern culinary and medicinal recipes – and document her findings in an academic journal article and major grant proposal to support additional research.