Proof and Persuasion (1992-1994)

Photograph of Dr. Carl. Lokke and Alton R. Wright in Central Search Room, 1942

During the academic years 1992/93 and 1993/94, the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies focused on the problem of proof and persuasion.

Topics Included:

  • Strategies of persuasion
  • Uncertainty and the process of building proof
  • Authority and sanctity
  • Proof
  • History as a means of persuasion
  • Belief, disbelief, and doubt
  • The establishment of collective identity
  • Scientific evidence and argument
  • Invention
  • Memory
  • Perspective and objectivity

Davis Center Fellows


  • David Abraham (Honorary Fellow), University of Miami
  • Karen Cunningham, Florida State University
  • Rachel Laudan, University of Hawaii
  • Brinkley Messick, University of Michigan
  • Robert Proctor, Penn State University
  • Barbara Herrnstein Smith, Duke University
  • Bonnie Smith, Rutgers University
  • David Wootton, University of Victoria


  • Silvia Berti, Universita "La Sapienza"
  • Josine Blok, Centraal Letteren Institut
  • Claudine Cohen, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales
  • Marianne Constable, University of California, Berkeley
  • Tapati Guha-Thakurta, Center for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta
  • Christine Heyrman, University of Delaware
  • Sarah Humphreys, University of Michigan
  • Andrew Pickering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Shelby Cullom Davis Center Volume

Proof and Persuasion: Essays on Authority, Objectivity and Evidence by Suzanne Marchand and Elizabeth Lunbeck

Proof and Persuasion: Essays on Authority, Objectivity, and Evidence

Edited by Suzanne Marchand and Elizabeth Lunbeck
Copyright 1997 Brepols Publishers