By Jenny Boulboullé
On 6 December 2016 Katrien Vanagt, a historian of science and filmmaker, gave a guest lecture on early modern experiments in anatomy and optics within Prof. Sven Dupré’s Master course “Art and knowledge: Light, Color and Perspective in Art” at University College Utrecht. First, we watched her documentary In Waking Hours, co-produced with film maker Sarah Vanagt, followed by a hands-on session in which the students built their own camera obscura’s. In this blog, I reflect upon the documentary In Waking Hours as a research method and pedagogic tool to explore experiential aspects of early modern experimental practice. Moreover, I argue that Vanagt’s film encourages humanities researchers to engage with their research matter hands-on and to experiment with unorthodox media and formats to do and present research, despite the pressure for conformity in our current academic research landscape.