Previous HSTM Colloquium

assortment of images from previous colloquia

Fall 2021

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September 10 - Punch Drunk Slugnuts: Violence and the Vernacular History of Disease

Stephen Casper, Department of History, Clarkson University

A Dorothy Bernstein Lecture in the History of Psychiatry

Abstract: Since hits to the head can cause dementia, why is our culture only now realizing it? This essay argues that the observation that neurological illnesses follow recurrent hits to the head was tempered by the very languages that first called the diseases into scientific existence: punch drunk, slug nutty, slap happy, goofy, punchie, and a host of other colloquialisms accompanying class identities. Thus the discovery of disease and its medicalization ran straight into a disbelief about losers - losers in boxing, losers in life, losers in general. To medicalize such individuals, was to fly in the face of a culture that made them jokes. Yet, a subculture began to emerge around pathological understandings, first in medicine, then in journalism, then in the courts, and then finally with patient accounts about illness. These new understandings never achieved canonical status in English-speaking cultures prior to the 2000s but they persisted and grew stronger throughout the post-war period.

September 24 - Normal and Abnormal Rhythms in the Search for Biological Clocks: An Epistemological Gap Between Early Twentieth-Century Biology and Experimental Psychology.

Jole Shackelford, History of Medicine, University of Minnesota

Abstract: I will posit an epistemological gap between the research designs and interpretations of results of experimental psychologists and animal physiologists during the first half of the twentieth century, evident at least in the study of biological rhythms and the pursuit of biological clocks.  That scientists working in different fields often operated within their own silos, as this is sometimes called, is not a particularly novel idea, but I will show that in the history of rhythms studies this has led to a mistaken priority claim in the search for “the biological clock” – one that led to a nomination for a Nobel Prize on historically dubious grounds.  It remains to be seen whether this finding can be applied more broadly.

October 8 - Toxic Anachronism in the History of Science and Technology: The Case of Leibniz

Andre Wakefield, Department of History, Pitzer College

Abstract: The history of science and technology has long been especially prone to Whiggish anachronism. You might say it’s built into the marrow of our discipline. While the complete elimination of anachronism from our histories may be a fool’s errand, certain forms of anachronism, instantiated in what I have elsewhere called “Disney History,” constitute a problem worth discussing. I will use the case of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and his experiments with mining machines in the Harz Mountains, to demonstrate what I mean.

October 15 - Carbolic Colonialism: Race, Labor, and Plague in the British Empire

Jacob Steere-Williams, Department of History, College of Charleston

A Charles E. Culpeper Lecture in the History of Medicine and HSTM Alumni Lecture

Abstract: This talk examines the entanglements of colonial public health through the history of a singular chemical technology; carbolic acid. Derived from coal tar production in British and German industrial factories, carbolic acid exploded in use from the 1870s after Joseph Lister advocated for aseptic and antiseptic surgeries. By the early twentieth century, carbolic acid and other chemical disinfectants were domesticated as common household tools in the fight against germs. An unexplored history of carbolic acid, however, are the practices—gendered and racialized—whereby carbolic acid became the central and everyday weapon used by colonial public health officers and indigenous laborers in fighting outbreaks of infectious disease. This talk, using the rich archival material derived from anti-plague work in British India and South Africa around 1900, shows how carbolic acid and the practices of disinfection were key sites of scientific knowledge transfer, debate, and contestation, over colonial environments, bodies, and what bodies produce.

October 29 - The Do-It-Herself Smear: Prevention Technology, Medical Practice, and Cervical Cancer Screening in 1960s Britain

Elizabeth Toon, University of Manchester

Abstract: This talk is part of my larger project, 'Making Screening Work', on the history of cervical cancer screening in the United Kingdom.  While national health authorities registered support for a regular programme of cervical cancer screening early in the 1960s, it took until the end of that decade for facilities, practitioners, and systems to be fully ready to take on the challenge of providing the service to the UK's women. Even so, policymakers and leading medical experts disagreed about the best approaches to delivering screening, and were particularly worried about reaching rural women and women thought less likely for cultural, social, or economic reasons to attend.  One approach they trialed was what they called the 'do-it-herself smear', a form of self-sampling that -- theoretically, at least -- would allow women to participate in screening without visiting a GP or clinic.  In this talk, I discuss why this approach initially seemed appealing, and why it failed in practice, asking what it can tell us about the technological, social, and political challenges associated with the introduction of screening.  By focusing on historical discussions about the mundane realities of smear-taking, I show that we can better understand the larger challenges that instituting screening presented to medical organisation, and grasp how this new technology of prevention reshaped both the delivery of care and women's health experiences. 

November 5 - Vaccination and its Historical Documents

Elena Conis, School of Journalism, UC-Berkeley

Abstract: Hesitancy and resistance to vaccination is more common than not in U.S. history. This talk will explain how and why public attitudes toward vaccination have changed over time, with an emphasis on twentieth and twenty-first century trends. Many age-old vaccination objections—including those grounded in religious beliefs, secular values, political ideology, and distrust in powerful interest groups—have persisted for more than two hundred years. But the modern era of vaccination, which dawned in the 1950s, is unique for its emphasis on compulsory vaccination of children, the visibility of so-called anti-vaccine views, and the often-overlooked but historically unprecedented acceptance of mandatory vaccination of the youngest citizens. This talk will place trends in the modern era of vaccination in the context of issues related to the nuclear family, economy, health care, and federal politics. It will also discuss how shifting social values, environmental concerns, gender roles, the valuation of children, and the relationship between secular and religious values inform vaccination skepticism. Finally, it will consider how today’s vaccination discourse and behaviors both echo and depart from historical trends in vaccination resistance and acceptance. 

November 12 - Making Razze: Knowing and Controlling Animal Generation, 1500-1600

Mackenzie Cooley, Department of History, Hamilton College

Abstract: The Renaissance is celebrated for its belief that man could fashion himself to greatness. But there is a dark parallel to this fêted history. Those same men and women who were offering profound advancements in understanding the human condition, laying the foundations of the Scientific Revolution, were fascinated with controlling that condition and the wider natural world. This talk introduces The Perfection of Nature: Animals, Humans, and Race in the Renaissance (In Press, The University of Chicago Press), a book that traces how the Renaissance world – from the Mediterranean to Mexico City to the high mountains of the Andes – was marked by a lingering fascination with breeding. Just as one strand of the Renaissance celebrated a liberal view of human potential, another limited it by biology, reducing man to beast and prince to stud. Aristocrats, breeders, and intellectuals thought through generation as those around them endeavored to create improved animal bodies, traced here through the cases of Italian horses, Mesoamerican dogs, Andean camelids, and other creatures. As the idea of controlled breeding was brought to life again and again, a rich, complex, and ever-shifting language of race and breeding developed. The bureaucratic language of “razze,” employed to designate a selected population thought to embody fragile differences over a few short generations, slipped from animals, becoming more permanent and hierarchical when applied to humans living in European colonies in this chapter of the long and convoluted history of race.

December 3 - Genesis, Creation, and Generation in Robert Boyle's Natural Philosophy

Ashley Inglehart, College of Medicine, Florida State University

Abstract: This paper examines the problem of generation -how plants, animals, and minerals come into existence- as considered by eminent English Aristocrat, Robert Boyle. Boyle, most noted today for work in pneumatics, addresses the problem in more than twenty treatises spanning roughly forty years. His understanding of the forces of generation, moreover, would remain closely tied to his ideas about God and the biblical account of Creation throughout his life.

I show how Robert Boyle took up the imagery of seminal principles for religious purposes and made them cohere with his larger mechanical and experimental project. I likewise expand upon the influence that Boyle’s Theological Voluntarism had upon his epistemology and methodological approach to experiment. In doing so, Boyle would contribute to a larger project of rejecting Aristotelian essentialism in favor of a modern approach to science. Both his approach and ideas about the forces of generation would go on to have tremendous influence in medicine, philosophy, and the birth of science itself.

Spring 2021 

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February 19 - Plucking Flowers, Despoiling Islands: Settler Colonial Botany in Interwar Hawai‘i

Ashanti Shih, Post-doctoral Fellow, Society of Fellows in the Humanities, University of Southern California

Abstract: This talk explores the relationship between the natural sciences and settler colonialism, using the case of American botany in the Territory of Hawai‘i from the 1920s to the 1940s. In particular, I focus on a white American botanist and his Asian and Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) collecting partners, who worked and lived in intimate arrangements to turn Hawaiian plants into scientific commodities. By centering their complicated relationships with each other and with Indigenous land, I propose a different way of reading encounters between Native peoples and western science: through the lenses of territory, erasure, and refusal.

April 16 - Connecting the Dots: A History of Systems Thinking in Chinese Agricultural Science and Politics

Rescheduled from Spring 2020

Sigrid Schmalzer, Department of History, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Abstract: Chinese agricultural scientists are prominent actors in global movements to promote agroecological engineering and preserve agricultural heritage systems. This presentation will explore the diverse historical roots of the systems paradigm, along with the scientific and political work it accomplishes. The notion that Chinese farmers have traditionally viewed agriculture as an ecological system (expressed most famously in the mulberry dyke / fish pond system of southeastern China) has inspired proponents of agroecology around the world. However, the mapping of such farming practices as systems of efficiently functioning components—along with the more general, transnational phenomenon of systems science—is a quintessentially modern way of thinking rooted in the application of scientific knowledge for the rationalization and control of nature and society. Similar language and diagrams have been used in China since the Mao era to describe agricultural, industrial, and political processes. The overarching principles of integration, efficiency, totality, and harmony emphasized in such schematics may be read as representing environmentalism or industrialism, holism or authoritarianism—or, more productively, some combination thereof. A deeper understanding of the history and current application of systems thinking in Chinese agriculture will help us more clearly identify where it inspires respect for ecological complexity and balance, and where it serves to justify and buttress state power.

Fall 2020

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October 2 - "Cryptic Effects at a Distance: Constructing Causal Claims in Fetal Epigenetic Programming Research"

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

Abstract: This paper offers a critical analysis of three touchstone research streams linking epigenetic markers with prenatal exposures and later life health in human populations: studies of individuals gestated during the Dutch Famine; research on individuals prenatally exposed to a 1998 ice storm in Quebec; and studies of the offspring of Jewish Holocaust survivors. In human studies, maternal intrauterine effects are what I call cryptic: they are small in effect size, vary depending on ecosocial context, and occur at a great temporal distance from the initial exposure. The fetal epigenetic programming hypothesis functions as a narrative glue that coheres disparate cryptic findings into plausible causal stories. Through close analysis of these research streams, I examine precisely what inferences scientists believe epigenetic studies can support, and how, in practice, scientists construct causal claims in fetal epigenetic programming research, despite the crypticity of their findings.

October 16 - "Health Care Ideals, Activism, and Politics in Cold War America: Establishing Outpatient Mental Health Care for Veterans of the War in Vietnam"

Jessica L. Adler (History, Florida International University.

This is the Dorothy Bernstein Lecture in the History of Psychiatry.

Abstract: In 1979, Congress approved funding for an outpatient, community-based “readjustment counseling” program to be administered by the Veterans Administration (VA), and accessible to those who had served during the war in Vietnam. Today, 300 Vet Centers are located in storefronts throughout the country and their doors are open to veterans of a variety of conflicts; they outnumber VA hospitals two to one. This talk, which shows that the veterans’ health system gradually “deinstitutionalized” in the mid-twentieth century, explores the social and political conditions undergirding the establishment of the Vet Center program. It has two larger implications. First, it sheds light on general conditions that impel transitions in health systems: changing conceptions of how illness should be treated, transformations in social definitions of disease, and forceful stakeholder advocacy. Second, it highlights how Vietnam veterans and their advocates restructured VA health services according to their own priorities, with lasting results for future generations.

November 13 - "Holy Modern: Cold War Fascism and the Technoaesthetics of Imperial Imagination"

Maria Gonzalez Pendas, Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University.

Abstract: A vibrant interior built on a gridded structure of steel and glass, the pavilion was readily celebrated as the “unexpected gem” of the fair, exemplar of a refined modernism unlike much of the technological kitsch taking over the grounds of Expo 58 in Brussels. The architecture that the dictatorial regime of Francisco Franco brought to the world scene in 1958 was received as quintessentially modern—and thus at odds with the fascist regime it was called to represent. “The Spanish Pavilion makes one wonder,” as one critic put it, “is Franco now tired and allows artists unusual freedom? Or maybe this country is no longer fascist?”
 
Fascism was of course alive and well and architecture continued to be as crucial an instrument for its production as it had been in the interwar period. Only now the world stage was shifting under Cold War dynamics and with it the ideological and technological configurations of fascism. In this talk, I will chronicle how architects worked alongside intellectuals, cadres, and other technicians to redefine the technological and aesthetic registers of fascism towards what I call “holy modernism.” In its ability to blend modernist aesthetics, technological modernization, and reactionary ideologies—including those of Opus Dei, the Catholic organization that came of age in the wake of the Spanish Civil War—holy modernism proved crucial in sustaining the pastoral project of Spanish fascism and modernize its nationalist-imperial myth of Hispanidad. Opus Dei member, historian, and Secretary of Censorship Florentino Pérez-Embid fittingly coined this agenda as “Westernization in the means, Hispanization in the ends.” This talk illuminates the strategies that architects, working at the intersection of technology and aesthetic, deployed to fulfill such synthesis; one that called to perform the Reconquest, technological modernization, and a politics of affect in the very same breadth. In so doing, I offer the methods and objects of architectural history as a way to unpack some of the most insidious techniques of reactionary ideology, some of the most overlooked aspects of the politics of technology, and some insight on the historical resilience of fascism. 

Spring 2020

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January 31 - Enslaved Histories: Value, Risk, and the Imagination of the Quantifiable Body in the Early Modern Iberian Atlantic

Pablo Gomez, Medical History and Bioethics, University of Wisconsin

Abstract: This talk will explore the emergence in sixteenth and seventeenth-century Iberian Atlantic slaving societies of novel concepts about the quantifiable nature of human bodies. These developments, I argue, gave rise to a new epistemology that conceived of fungible and universal bodies that were measurable and comparable, as were the diseases that affected them, in quantifiable and reproducible ways in a temporal framework. Scholars have traditionally identified these ideas as related to the rise of the New Science and political and medical arithmetics in late seventeenth-century and eighteenth-century English, French and northern European learned circles. My research explores how early Iberian-centered slave trade enterprises of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries generated, in an unprecedented manner, a gargantuan amount of data related to the mathematical measurement of human corporeality and the risks of slave bodies (and their labor) in financial terms. This history has remained mostly unexamined, especially in relation to accounts about the emergence of modern medicine, epidemiology, and demography. By focusing on the violent early history of bodily quantification in the Atlantic, my work re-locates narratives about critical events related to the value-creating nature of exchange practices as they refer to the human body and their role in the modeling of fundamental ideas for the nascent disciplines of political economy and public health in ensuing centuries.

February 7 - The Age of Nitrogen: the Colonial Green Revolution and Postcolonial Fertilizer

Hiromi Mizuno, Department of History, University of Minnesota

Abstract: How can we make nitrogen visible? Can we historicize the Nitrogen Cycle? This talk, from my current book project, tells a story of agricultural modernization in Asia that challenges the familiar US-centered Green Revolution story. Imperial Japan was the world's largest producer and consumer of nitrogen, the most important nutrient for plant growth, and postwar Japan continued to be the major provider of fertilizer to Asia. Using GIS technologies and archival sources, I follow the flow of nitrogen in order to critically explore the political ecology of nitrogenous fertilizer in the twentieth century and terrestrial concerns for the future.

February 14 - The People's War against Earthquakes: Science, Disasters, and Politics in Communist China

Fa-ti Fan, Department of History, Binghampton University 

Abstract: By a strange coincidence, China experienced a series of powerful earthquakes during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). Natural disasters and socio-political upheavals dominated the tumultuous years. In response, China waged “The People’s War against Earthquakes.” The “earthquake workers” as well as the masses developed and mobilized a wide range of approaches to earthquake monitoring, prediction, and defense.

This paper discusses the ideas, practices, and institutions of earthquake monitoring and prediction in Cultural Revolution China. The focus is on the culture and politics of the senses, sensory experience, and distributed sensor-networks in the People’s War against Earthquakes. The paper demonstrates the fundamental importance of sensory politics to disaster governance in communist China.

February 21 - Jim Crow in the Asylum: Psychiatry and Civil Rights in the American South

Kylie Smith, School of Nursing, Emory University 

Abstract: Much has been written about the history of psychiatry and the history of Civil Rights, yet rarely are they studied together. In this lecture, Dr Kylie Smith will present research from her new project which explores the impact of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on large state psychiatric hospitals in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. These hospitals had been segregated for decades, with devastating effects, and resistance to integration was often fierce. Yet a series of court cases bought by committed activists and lawyers sought to end racist practices in Southern psychiatry. Despite some successes, racist ideas about the nature of the Black psyche continued to underpin approaches to mental health in the South, creating continued disparities into today. In this exploration, Dr Smith reveals narratives of oppression, abuse and neglect as well as startling bravery and survival, as psychiatric hospitals become a lens through which to view many of the South’s enduring tensions. Dr Smith will discuss the ways that her project sits at the intersection of medical, legal and disability history, and will also explain the process of creating a digital humanities, Open Access project.

March 20 - ‘So few see the importance of antepartum care’: Early efforts to encourage low income women to engage with prenatal care (CANCELLED)

Janet Greenlees, Glasgow Caledonian University

Abstract: For over one hundred years, the cities of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Glasgow, UK have struggled with some of their countries highest rates of poverty and maternal and infant mortality. While national and local efforts to address these mortality rates have varied over time, many initiatives focused on mothers and care before, during and after childbirth. Nevertheless, women living in poverty have been consistently less likely to engage with prenatal care than their wealthier counterparts. Focusing on the first half of the twentieth century, when prenatal care was ‘invented’ and gradually became a recognized part of regular maternity care, this paper challenges historical debates which explain women’s increasing engagement with prenatal care as forming part of the shift from social childbirth and reactive obstetrics to the mid-twentieth century medical model or ideal of childbirth. The cities of Philadelphia and Glasgow provide case studies for demonstrating cross-national similarities of low-income women’s agency in choosing to engage or not to engage and on what terms with what became known as preventive medicine. Low-income women’s experiences of pregnancy differed from those of their wealthier counterparts and this paper reveals a common importance of not simply the type of prenatal provision, but also practitioners’ perceptions of their poor patients and maternal feelings. Both providers and prospective patients required resilience to manage the challenges of poverty and pregnancy.

April 3 - Holy Modern: Cold War Fascism and the Technoaesthetics of Imperial Imagination (CANCELLED)

Maria Gonzalez Pendas, Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University 

Abstract: A vibrant interior built on a gridded structure of steel and glass, the pavilion was readily celebrated as the “unexpected gem” of the fair, exemplar of a refined modernism unlike much of the technological kitsch taking over the grounds of Expo 58 in Brussels. The architecture that the dictatorial regime of Francisco Franco brought to the world scene in 1958 was received as quintessentially modern—and thus at odds with the fascist regime it was called to represent. “The Spanish Pavilion makes one wonder,” as one critic put it, “is Franco now tired and allows artists unusual freedom? Or maybe this country is no longer fascist?”

Fascism was of course alive and well and architecture continued to be as crucial an instrument for its production as it had been in the interwar period. Only now the world stage was shifting under Cold War dynamics and with it the ideological and technological configurations of fascism. In this talk, I will chronicle how architects worked alongside intellectuals, cadres, and other technicians to redefine the technological and aesthetic registers of fascism towards what I call “holy modernism.” In its ability to blend modernist aesthetics, technological modernization, and reactionary ideologies—including those of Opus Dei, the Catholic organization that came of age in the wake of the Spanish Civil War—holy modernism proved crucial in sustaining the pastoral project of Spanish fascism and modernize its nationalist-imperial myth. Opus Dei member, historian, and Secretary of Censorship Florentino Pérez-Embid fittingly coined this agenda as “Westernization in the means, Hispanization in the ends.” This talk illuminates the strategies that architects, working at the intersection of technology and aesthetic, deployed to fulfill such synthesis; one that called to perform the Reconquest, technological modernization, and affective politics in the very same breadth. In so doing, it offers the methods and objects of architectural history as means by which to unpack some of the most insidious techniques of reactionary politics and some of the most overlooked aspects of the politics of technology.

April 10 - Typhoid Cultures: Disease, Medical Science, and Popular Politics in Victorian Britain (CANCELLED)

Jacob Steere-Williams, Department of History, College of Charleston

Abstract: Typhoid fever strikes about 20 million people each year, killing about 200,000 individuals annually, predominately in the Global South. Evolutionary biologists and historical epidemiologists tell us that the disease has long been inflicting human populations, but that typhoid was at its height during the Industrial Revolution in the nineteenth century. A food and water-borne bacterial infection, typhoid epitomized the pitfalls of early attempts at an urban-Industrial pipe-bound city. Before the 1840s, however, it was a disease without a name, grouped alongside a host of early modern “fevers.”  This talk is about how, epistemologically, the disease concept first named typhoid was a unique product of the Victorian period, produced by and mutually intelligible to historical actors of the nineteenth century. Typhoid was deeply understood to be part of the English environment, inexorably tied to English bodies and to British cultural identity. Drawing on material from my forthcoming book, The Filth Disease, I show that typhoid was protean in the Victorian period, flexible to popular and politicized understandings of public health, and malleable to a number of burgeoning scientific fields, including clinical medicine, pathology, veterinary medicine, epidemiology, chemistry, and bacteriology. In the years after 1900 the typhoid of the Victorians disappeared. Or, rather, it became fragmented and disjointed by laboratory science into the broader Salmonella family that we know today. This talk highlights the central features of conflicting “typhoid cultures”  during the Victorian era, when the disease emerged and before it vanished.  

April 17 - Erle Stanley Gardner’s ‘Court of Last Resort’ and the Pursuit of Wrongful Conviction in Cold War America (CANCELLED)

Ian Burney, Center for History of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of Manchester

Abstract: We live in an age of innocence consciousness. Since the first US case of post-conviction DNA exoneration in 1989, national advocacy organizations have championed the cause of potentially innocent prisoners, raised public awareness, and promoted policy reform. These developments have been hailed as the dawn of a new moral, legal and scientific order – an ‘innocence revolution’ – driven by a unique set of contemporary forces: principled critique criminal justice bias, media advocacy, and most importantly the declarative power of forensic genomics. In this lecture I will rethink this claim to historical singularity by exploring a prior forensic framework of innocence centered on Erle Stanley Gardner’s ‘Court of Last Resort.’ Best known today as the creator of the intrepid defense attorney Perry Mason, in 1948 Gardner founded ‘The Court of Last Resort,’ a self-appointed body of experts dedicated to investigating – and publicizing – possible cases of wrongful conviction. In many respects, Gardner’s enterprise shares essential structural features of the present innocence moment. Yet Gardner’s project was profoundly influenced by the political, legal, cultural and scientific context of Cold War America, and this determined both the forensic techniques it deployed in the pursuit of innocence, and the criteria for selecting whose claim to innocence was worth pursuing.

April 24 - Connecting the Dots: A History of Systems Thinking in Chinese Agricultural Science and Politics (CANCELLED)

Sigrid Schmalzer, Department of History, University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Abstract: Chinese agricultural scientists are prominent actors in global movements to promote agroecological engineering and preserve agricultural heritage systems. This presentation will explore the diverse historical roots of the systems paradigm, along with the scientific and political work it accomplishes. The notion that Chinese farmers have traditionally viewed agriculture as an ecological system (expressed most famously in the mulberry dyke / fish pond system of southeastern China) has inspired proponents of agroecology around the world. However, the mapping of such farming practices as systems of efficiently functioning components—along with the more general, transnational phenomenon of systems science—is a quintessentially modern way of thinking rooted in the application of scientific knowledge for the rationalization and control of nature and society. Similar language and diagrams have been used in China since the Mao era to describe agricultural, industrial, and political processes. The overarching principles of integration, efficiency, totality, and harmony emphasized in such schematics may be read as representing environmentalism or industrialism, holism or authoritarianism—or, more productively, some combination thereof. A deeper understanding of the history and current application of systems thinking in Chinese agriculture will help us more clearly identify where it inspires respect for ecological complexity and balance, and where it serves to justify and buttress state power. 

Earlier Colloquia 

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Fall 2019

Date Speaker Title
Sept. 6, 2019 Eric Carter The Health of the People: A New History of Latin American Social Medicine
Sept. 20, 2019 Deborah Coen Reimagining the History of Climate Science
Sept. 27, 2019 Esyllt Jones New Deal Medicine & the Birth of Socialized Health Care in Canada: Fred Mott in Saskatchewan, 1946-1951
Oct. 11, 2019 Anna Graber Underground Evangelizing: Theodicy and Orthodoxy in Lomonosov's Theory of Earth
Oct. 25, 2019 Mary Terrall Indigo Trials and Tribulations: Michel Adanson's African Laboratory
Nov. 8, 2019 Amit Hagar How to Train a Mouse: Methodological Challenges to Pre-Clinical Exercise Ontology
Nov. 15, 2019 Nicole Nelson The Methodologists - Following the Scientists who make Tools, not Facts
Nov. 22, 2019 Brandy Shillace A new way of seeing: Medical Humanities and the moral imperative of social justice

2018 - 2019

Fall 2018

Date Speaker Title
Sept. 7, 2018 Andrew Zangwill Four Facts Everyone Ought to Know about Science
Sept. 14, 2018 Evan Ragland The Medical Origins of Experimental Science? Professors, Students, and the Cultivation of Experiment at Universities in Padua and Leiden
Sept. 21, 2018 Sarah Robins The Neurophilosophy of Memory: Reconciling Stable Engrams and Neural Dynamics
Sept. 28, 2019 Deirdre Cooper Owens Exploring Hapticity, Slavery, and the Emergence of American Gynecology
Oct. 5, 2018 Erik Peterson Epigenetics is 76 years old, so why are we just now hearing about it?
Oct. 12, 2018 Susan Jones The Homelands of the Plague: Soviet Disease Ecology in Central Asia, 1920s-1950s
Oct. 19, 2018 Jaipreet Virdi Mechanical Quackery: Electrical Cures for Deafness in the United States, 1880-1930
Oct. 26, 2018 Benjamin Goldberg Margaret Cavendish's Medical Recipes: Medicine, Experience, and Natural Philosophy in Early Modern England
Nov. 9, 2018 Andrew Hogan Reform or Exclude? Debating Medicine's Role in Disability and Mental Health
Nov. 16, 2018 Daniel Rood El Principio Sacarino: Organic Chemistry Meets Racial Capitalism in the Cuban Sugar-Mill
Nov. 30, 2018 Elisabeth Lloyd The Intersection of Social Values and Methods in Attributing Climate Change to Extreme Events: A Controversy
Dec. 7, 2018 Roger Stuewer From the Old to the New World of Nuclear Physics, 1919-1939

Spring 2019

Date Speaker Title
Jan. 25, 2019 Lucy Fortson Optimizing the Human-Machine Partnership with Zooniverse
Feb. 8, 2019 Miriam Gross Re-Evaluating SARS: Health Campaigns as a lens into Chinese Science, Administration and State Control
Feb. 15, 2019 Gualtiero Piccinini Mechanisms, Multiple Realizability and Medium Independence
Feb. 22, 2019 Michael Gordin Einstein in Bohemia: Science and Prague before and after the Habsburgs
Mar. 1, 2019 Nukhet Varlik Five-Hundred Years of Plague in Ottomany History: Rethinking the Second Pandemic
Mar. 8, 2019 Edward Jones-Imhotep Theaters of Machines: Breakage, Social Order, and the Lost Histories of the Technological Self
Mar. 29, 2019 Lynn Nyhart The Politics of Popular Physiology in Germany in the 1840s and 50s
Apr. 5, 2019 Oystein Linnebo and Gabriel Uzquiano Author Meets Reader: Varieties of Continua
Apr. 12, 2019 Jenna Tonn Being "One of the Boys:" Manliness and Experimental Zoology in Boston
Apr. 19, 2019 Olivia Weisser Republic of Venus: Shopping for Veneral Cures in Early Modern London
Apr. 26, 2019 Angela Potochnik Idealization and Many Aims
May 3, 2019 Rachel Mason Dentinger Pests, Parasites, Partners & Poisons: The Metaphors and Molecules that Frame Interspecies Interactions

2017-2018

Fall 2017

Date Speaker Title
Sept. 8, 2017 Jennifer Alexander Technology, Religion and Postwar Debates about the Order of Creation: How the History of Science and Religion Led to Error in Analyzing Technology and Religion
Sept. 14, 2017 David Herzberg He will be a Better Citizen as a Legitimate Addict: The Forgotten History of Harm Reduction in America's First Opioid Epidemic
Sept. 22, 2017 Alison Gopnik When Children are Better Learners than Adults: Theory Formation, Causal Models, and the Evolution of Learning
Sept. 29, 2017 Amy Bix Inviting Girls into the Lab: The Rise of Diversity Advocacy in STEM, 1950-Present
Oct. 6, 2017 David Kaiser Cold War Curvature: Measuring and Modeling Gravity in Postwar American Physics
Oct. 13, 2017 Rebecca Kukla Structural Bias and the Commercialization of Medicine
Oct. 20, 2017 Victor Boantza Fluidity, Elasticity and Activity: Conceptualizing Air from Boyle to the Early Newtonians
Oct. 27, 2017 C. Kenneth Waters An Epistemology of Scientific Investigation
Nov. 3, 2017 Darin Hayton Astrology from University Lecture to Print Culture
Nov. 10, 2017 Rob DiSalle Absolute Space, Relation Motion and the Method of Newtonian Physics
Nov. 17, 2017 Molly Kao Unification and Heuristic Strategies in the Development of Quantum Theory
Dec. 1, 2017 Nora Berenstain Active Ignorance and the Rhetoric of Biological Race Realism
Dec. 8, 2017 Andy Bruno Eurasianism in Soviet Science: The Environmental Views of Aleksandr Fersman

Spring 2018

Date Speaker Title
Jan. 19, 2018 Harvey Brown How Einstein Came to Use the Action-Reaction Principle in Promoting his Theory of Gravity
Jan. 26, 2018 Nancy Tomes Recovery as Concept, Model and Movement in the Mental Health Field: The Challenge of Writing a 'History of the Present'
Feb. 2, 2018 Marc Swackhamer Hypernatural: Architecture's New Relationship with Nature
Feb. 9, 2018 Jacqueline Feke Ptolemy's Ethics
Feb. 16, 2018 Cynthia Connolly A Big Business Built for Little Customers: Children and the Flavored Aspirin Market in the United States, 1948-1973
Feb. 23, 2018 Nahyan Fancy Did Humoral Theory Undergo any Changes in Post-Avicennan Medicine? Examples from the Commentaries of Ibn al-Nafis (1288) and his Successors in Western Eurasia
Mar. 2, 2018 Alisa Bokulich Using Models to Correct Data: Paleodiversity and the Fossil Record
Mar. 23, 2018 Rebecca Kluchin Court-Ordered Caesarean Sections in 1980s America
Mar. 30, 2018 Susan Rensing A Coldly Scientific Venture: Unwed Mothers and the Eugenic Baby Panic
Apr. 6, 2018 Suart Glennan Compositional Minimalism
Apr. 13, 2018 Lawrence Principe Wilhelm Holmberg's Laboratories and Instruments: Doing Chymistry in Early Modern France
Apr. 20, 2018 Robert Humphreys Margaret Burbidge, and the Annie Jump Cannon Award or How I Met Vera Rubin - a Personal and Scientific Recollection
Apr. 27, 2018 Richard Samuels How to Acquire Number Concepts: A New Puzzle (With Stewart Shapiro and Eric Snyder)

For information about our colloquium series from more distant years, please contact hstm@umn.edu