Past Seminar Titles

Program Seminar serves to foster scholarly community among the faculty, students, and visiting fellows of the Program: we meet weekly to think and talk together, and this is a considerable pleasure (not to mention intellectually invigorating). Topics of the gathering vary. Often we discuss a pre-circulated work in progress, but other conversations are welcome, recent literature, events and trends in the profession, issues of common concern in the Program. The goal is to bridge the divisions and to counteract the centrifugal forces that tend to affect small programs with broad scope.

Catherine Abou-Nemeh:

  • Medical Philosophers: Nicolas Hartsoeker and Cartesians at Leiden University and at the Amsterdam Athenaeum Illustre in the 1670s

Anthony Acciavatti:

  • Standards of Living: National Design of Village Industries in India (1957-76)

Elaine Ayers:

  • Making the Unnatural Natural: Alfred Russell Wallace's Material Researches into the Spirit World
  • Transporting the Tropics: Collecting and Preserving the Victorian Botanical Empire

Michael J. Barany:

  • The Euclidean Point in Sixteenth-Century Print

Joshua Bauchner:

  • The Polarity of Life during Wartime: Reading Georges Canguilhem’s Le normal et le pathologique
  • On Balance: Josef Breuer, the Semicircular Canal, and the 'Talking Cure'

Edna Bonhomme:

  • A Mass Burial in Cairo: On the Precarious Nature of Death Rituals during Late Eighteenth-Century Plague Outbreaks
  • The Port and the City: Trade and Plague in Eighteenth-Century Ottoman Tunisia

James Byrne:

  • Fixed to Their Orbs: The Solidity of Celestial Spheres and the Limits of Medieval Astronomy and Cosmology

Henry Cowles:

  • William James and the Prehistory of Naturalized Epistemology
  • The Evolution of Experiment in the Life and Human Sciences

Angela Creager:

  • Guinea Pigs
  • Human Bodies as Chemical Sensors: A History of Biomonitoring for Environmental Health and Regulation

Paul Davis:

  • Cutting Down the Liberty Tree: Climate Change and Enlightenment Thought

William Deringer:

  • Calculated Values: A Political History of Economic Numbers in Britain, 1688-1738

David Dunning:

  • John Venn’s Diagrammatical Device: A Logical Tool for a Moral Science
  • Writing the Rules of Reason: Logical Notation in Europe, 1847–1931

Kjell Ericson:

  • The Trials of La Perle Japonaise: The 'Pearl Sensation' and the Spread of Machine-Mediated Authentication

Christian Flow:

  • Latin Dictionaries and the Lexicographic Rift

Yael Geller:

  • Preliminary Steps towards a History of Responsibility in Psychiatric Thought: the Case of Depression

Michael Gordin:

  • Scientific Babel: Talking Science

Bridget Gurtler:

  • From ‘Fructification’ to ‘Insemination’: Nomenclature, Medicine, and the Family in the Early History of Artificial Insemination

Jinsong Guo:

  • Mathematizing the Changes in Late Song China, 1170s-1240s

Cailtin Harvey:

  • Science and Sensibility: Louise Lind-af-Hageby’s Diary as Female Testimony, Scientific Publication, and Antivivisectionist Tool, 1890-1918 

Evan Hepler-Smith

  • Deception and Experts: The Curious Adventures of a Paint Chemist
  • Between Regulation and Information: Tracing Chemical Novelty

Lijing Jiang:

  • Retouching the Past with Living Things: Material Nativism and Biology Research in Nanjing, 1918-1938

Emily Kern:

  • Mendelian Anthropologists: Measuring Hands, Heads, and Heredity in the Early 20th Century
  • Hunting the Human Homeland: Politics and Paleontology in Central Asia, 1920-1936

Lara Keuck: 

  • History as a biomedical matter: Recent reassessments of the first cases of Alzheimer's disease

Charles Kollmer:

  • Finding Equilibrium in the Struggle for Life: Experimental and Theoretical Population Genetics in Interwar Paris
  • Modernizing Biology: The Reorganization of Life Science in Europe from the Stazione Zoologica to the EMBO, 1872-1973

Simeon Koole:

  • A Sixth Sense? Touch, Cognition, and the Extended Body in the Education of the Blind in Britain, c.1870-1972

Victoria Lee:

  • Malt, amylo and koji: scientific traditions in modern Japanese alcohol manufacture, 1900- 1940

Robert MacGregor:

  • The Oracle of Apollo

Carolina Malagon:

  • 'Verwandtschaften der Wahl. (Affinities Elected.)' Romantic Chemistry and the Fragments of J. W. Ritter
  • Romantic Chemical Encounters

Kat Maxson:

  • Cold Light and Hot War: Edmund Newton Harvey, Bioluminescence, and Princeton Physiology from WWI to WWII
  • Concerning Metals…they do pertinaciously resist all Transmutation’: John Ray on Chymistry 

Sarah Milov:

  • Tobacco Science at the Grassroots

Wangui Muigai:

  • White Antidote or White Poison: Milk and Infant Mortality at the Turn of the Twentieth Century
  • All My Babies (1952) and the Postwar Politics of African American Health Care

Ingrid Ockert:

  • Cold War Constructions

Flori Pierri:

  • An American Tiger in Madrid
  • How do you Solve a Problem Like a Tapir?: Descriptive Practices in Early Modern Europe

Jennifer Rampling:

  • The Making of English Alchemy: Mineral and Vegetable Stones

Felix Reitmann:

  • Synchronizing the Child: Video Technologies in the Parisian Outpatient Clinic Vivaldi (1990s-2010s)

David Robertson:

  • Assimilation and its Discontents: Australian Ethnopsychiatry and Aboriginal Mental Illness

Benjamin J. Sacks:

  • The Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and History’s Future

Ezelle Sanford III:

  • Making the Modern Negro Physician in the Journal of the National Medical Association1945-1949

Margaret Schotte:

  • “These are not matters for fools”: Early Modern Navigational Examinations in a Comparative Perspective

Wayne Soon:

  • Bloody Realities, "Useless" Technologies: the history of the First Chinese Blood Bank, 1943-1945

Ohad Reiss Sorokin:

  • The Early Biography of ‘Intelligence’ as a Scientific Object:Alfred Binet’s Experiments on his Daughters (1890-1903)

Richard Spiegel:

  • Sound and Vision: Visuality and the Role of Acoustics in the Birth of Modern Ophthalmology in the Seventeenth Century
  • Sculpting Young Minds: A History of Child-Centered Pedagogy

Dan Stolz:

  • Merit and Truth: Merging Astronomical Traditions in Late Ottoman Egypt

Ksenia Tatarchenko:

  • “Double Loyalties” in Counterpoint: Computer Science from Silicon Valley to Golden Valley (1958-1968)
  • Making (a) Place for the Soviet Programming: Back to the Future (1968-1988)

Kostas Tampakis:

  • Onwards facing backwards- The rhetoric of science in 19th century Greece Introduction: Founding the Observatory of Athens

Ray Thornton:

  • A School for Development: Decolonization and Childhood in Nairobi, 1950-1990

Jenny Tomlinson:

  • Optimistic Empiricism

Daniel Trambaiolo:

  • Violent Remedies: Sweats, Vomits and Purges in Tokugawa Japan

Janet Vertesi and Lisa Messeri:

  • The Greatest Missions Never Flown

Ian Watts:

  • Galvanism and the Newspapers in Napoleonic Europe
  • The Shock of the New’: Galvanism in British popular scientific culture and European print, 1790-1820
  • Information and the Frontiers of Science in the Age of Revolutions

Adrian Young:

  • Mutiny’s Bounty: Anthropology, Pitcairn Islanders, and the making of a natural laboratory on the edge of Britain’s South Seas Empire
  • Paradise Found: Travel, Imagination, and the Making of an Exemplary Space