February 23: Discussion on temporality and timekeeping based on Yulia Frumer’s 2014 article “Translating Time: Habits of Western-Style Timekeeping in Late Edo Japan.”

March 29: Work-in-progress seminar with Lukas Rieppel (Brown University): “Dinosaurs and Capitalism: Assembling an Icon of Science During America’s Long Gilded Age.”

April 7-8: The eleventh annual Southern History of Science and Technology conference will be hosted by the Science Studies group at Vanderbilt.

FALL 2016

September 14. Discussion on innovation and tradition based on Thomas Kuhn’s 1959 essay “The Essential Tension” and V. Sujatha’s 2011 essay “Innovation within and between Traditions: Dilemma of Traditional Medicine in Contemporary India.”

October 4. Discussion based on Sandra Harding’s 2009 essay “Postcolonial and feminist philosophies of science and technology: convergences and dissonances.”

November 8. Discussion on Marx as a historian of science based on precirculated readings from Marx’s 1847 The Poverty of Philosophy and Pietro Daniel Omodeo’s 2015 interview with Roger Cooter, “The Critical Intellectual in the Age of Neoliberal Hegemony.”

November 29. Discussion of scientific pessimism based on Lorraine Daston’s 2016 article “When Science Went Modern” and Juha Saatsi’s 2005 article “On the Pessimistic Induction and Two Fallacies.”


February 3. Alix Hui (Mississippi State) “From Vogelflöte to wichity wichity wichity: Standardizing the Sounds of Nature in the First Decades of the Twentieth Century.” (Co-hosted by the Max Kade Center)

March 1. Work-in-progress seminar with Thomas Andrews (University of Colorado). “The Antibiotic Growth Effect in Livestock: A Multispecies History of Trans-Disciplinary Crossings and Distributed Agency in U.S. Science and Industry, 1900s-1950s.”

March 29. Discussion on subjectivity based on precirculated readings from Julie Livingston’s 2012 book Improvising Medicine and Steven Shapin’s 2012 article “The Sciences of Subjectivity.”

April 19. Work-in-progress seminar with Joanna Stalnaker, Associate Professor of French at Columbia University. “Description and the Non-human View of Nature.” Cancelled.

FALL 2015

September 24. Discussion on science studies and the environment based on Gregg Mitman’s 2005 article “In Search of Health: Landscape and Disease in American Environmental History” and Abby Kinchy et al‘s 2014 article “What is Volunteer Water Monitoring Good For? Fracking and the Plural Logics of Participatory Science.”

October 21. Shellen Wu (University of Tennessee-Knoxville), “Geography at the Frontiers of Science: Geopolitics in Twentieth-Century China.”

November 11. Discussion on biographical approaches to science studies based on an excerpt from Nicolaas Rupke’s 2006 book “A metabiography of Alexander von Humboldt” and Eva Hemmungs Wirtén’s 2015 article “The Pasteurization of Marie Curie: A (meta)biographical experiment.”

December 11 (concurrent meeting with the Robert Penn Warren Center 18th/19th-Century Colloquium). Jay Clayton (Vanderbilt University), “Science in the Tropics: Neo-Victorian Voyages into History.”


January 29. Introductory meeting.

February 26. Discussion on the “neuro” turn in humanities scholarship based on Nikolas Rose’s 2013 article “The Human Sciences in a Biological Age” and Roger Cooter’s 2014 article “Why Historians of Science Need to Take the Neuro-Turn Seriously.”

March 26. Discussion on “cyborgs revisited” based on Donna Haraway’s 1985 article “A Manifesto for Cyborgs,” Nelly Oudshoorn’s 2015 article “Sustaining Cyborgs: Sensing and Tuning Agencies of Pacemakers and Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators,” and an excerpt from Alison Kafer’s 2013 book Feminist, Queer, Crip.

April 23. Discussion on scientific authorship based on Michel Foucault’s 1969 lecture/essay “What is an Author?” and Mario Biagioli’s 2012 essay “Recycling Texts or Stealing Time? Plagiarism, Authorship, and Credit in Science.”