Please note that a knowledge of classical Chinese is necessary for this workshop.
History of Science Colloquium
Our History of Science Colloquium series features guest speakers who present on a range of topis related to the history of science, medicine, and technology. These evening events are free and open to the public.
In the last few decades much research has been devoted to the interaction of European and Chinese science in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Scholars have begun to consider social and political factors in their studies of Chinese mathematics. This approach, however desirable, needs more systematic exploration.
This lunch seminar for graduate students is co-sponsored by Professor Benjamin Elman's Mellon Achievement Grant and the Program of History of Science at Princeton University.
Silk production was one of the central sources of income in dynastic China, and the means of choice to prevent wars and maintain peace with its neighbors. Scholar officials traditionally occupied themselves intensively with the study of the silk worm, which was seen as a model organism of the world. Around the time of the millennium, however, an almost unnoticed shift took place and the topics of spinning and weaving moved into the foreground and became the focus of written discussions.
The history of early photography and its relation to science was until recently the history of a handful of famous, beautiful images: photographs seemingly at home on the gallery wall as much as in the laboratories in which they were made. As historical scholarship has moved productively toward an understanding of science as visual culture (rather than considering science in relation to visual culture), we are beginning to understand how deeply embedded photography has been, from its inception, into the day to day practices of science.
Few beliefs about the nature of academic knowledge seem to be less problematic and are more deeply ingrained than is the assumption that a wide gulf divides the sciences and the humanities. But like many of the other dichotomies that characterize modernity, this binary opposition is younger than we tend to think. The emergence of the modern bifurcation of academic knowledge constituted one of the most fundamental transformations in the history of knowledge. It changed the very notion of what academic knowledge is and should be.
This paper explores the relationships between race, medicine, abolitionism, and slavery within the British Empire in the second half of the eighteenth century. While the literature on abolitionist debates is large, comparatively little attention has been paid to the role played—on either side—by medical men.
Metastable Demons: The Otherworldly Operators of the 20th Century
Abstract: Drawing from her forthcoming book, Fugitive Science: Empiricism and Freedom in Early African American Culture (NYU Press), Rusert will discuss a little-known story about race and science in the United States. Fugitive Science rethinks the history of nineteenth-century racial science from the perspective of black intellectuals, performers and artists who critiqued, challenged, and at times, even flirted with it.
Varieties of Vital Materialism