HSTM Events

Spring 2022 Colloquium - Erika Milam

Title: “Philosophy Kings of Rocky Mountains: Marmots, Time, and Animal Behavior”

Abstract: This talk explores the history of behavioral research on marmots at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in the mountains of Colorado. Started in 1962, this is one of several long-term studies of animal behavior that started in the decades after the Second World War that have become central to behavioral ecology as a discipline. Why did researchers decide to return to the same site year after year, and how have those reasons changed for subsequent generations of ecologists? How were affective connections to place—from danger to freedom—important in cementing ecologists’ commitments to field sites like RMBL? Charting the history of this project allows me to navigate the relations of activity and torpor, sociality and solitude, and station and university over the last sixty years, so as to understand the role of remote research stations as crucial places for the production of knowledge about the natural world in which we live. 

Spring 2022 Colloquium - Mariola Espinosa

History; Biomedical Ethics, University of Iowa

Title: A Global Perspective on the History of Disease and Medicine in the Greater Caribbean.

Abstract: This talk discusses how the history of disease and medicine, which is usually studied in very localized geographical contexts, benefits from also being evaluated from a broader, more global, perspective. The Caribbean provides a perfect example to see how connections among islands and mainland ports—between their inhabitants, their economies, their environments, among others—are manifested in the history of epidemics and of medical knowledge.  Studying the history of disease and medicine in this manner reveals the interconnections between the islands and the networks of medical knowledge to be multi-directional exchanges that at the same time transcend the boundaries of language and empires.

Spring 2022 Colloquium - Christopher Kindell

Visiting Assistant Professor and Lecturer, History of Science, Technology and Medicine

Title: TBA

Abstract: TBA

Spring 2022 Colloquium - Joel Isaac

Social Thought, University of Chicago

Title: TBA

Abstract: TBA

Spring 2022 Colloquium - Hyeok Hweon Kang

East Asian Languages and Cultures, Washington University – St Louis

Kang talk image

Title: The Artisanal Heart: Craft and Experimentalism in Early Modern Korea.

Abstract: This talk recasts the history of early modern science from the perspective of artisans and practitioners in Chosŏn Korea (1392–1910). It argues that from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, craftspeople in the military factories of Seoul developed a hands-on, experimental approach to investigating the material world. Their experimentalism originated from the shopfloor—the artisanal practice of “prototyping.” But as it passed on from the army workshops to poetry associations and literati studios, it spread across society, prompting the rise of new practitioners who emphasized a bodily, experiential approach to knowledge. The talk reconstructs this Korean artisanal science and expands our understanding of experiment and empiricism in the early modern world.

Spring 2022 Colloquium - Chris Hamlin

History of Forensic Medicine; Notre Dame, ret.

Title: TBA

Abstract: TBA

Spring 2022 Colloquium - Jessica Ratcliff

Science and Technology Studies, Cornell University

East India docks

Title: Natural Monopoly: Colonial Science, Orders of Access, and the East India Company in London, 1757-1858.

Abstract: This project investigates changing patterns of knowledge resource management at the British East India Company. It covers the years between the Company’s takeover of Bengal in 1757 and the abolition of the Company in 1858. At the beginning of the period, the Company generally depended upon individuals for the historical, linguistic, navigational, botanical, medical and other sciences upon which their operations depended. By the end of the period, the Company had taken over the direct management and production of many domains of colonial science. Along the way, the Company would become a key institution of science in London, establishing around 1800 a library, museum and two colleges in Britain. In this talk, I will first give an overview of the changing structure and geography of science under the Company. Out of this overview, the role that the East India Company played in shaping British science becomes clear, as does the debt that the organization of both modern states and modern sciences owe to the corporation as a form of governance. I will then consider the importance of this case for our understanding of the relationship between “state science” (or public science) and “corporate science” (or private science), and the fuzzy historical boundaries between these two orders of access.

Spring 2022 Colloquium - Sarah Richardson

History of Science and of Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, Harvard University

Title: TBA

Abstract: TBA