2004-2005 Klopsteg Lecture Series

September 30

SHC Fall Reception
Introduction to SHC postdocs Pauline Kusiak and Patrick Singy and Visiting Assistant Professor Mats Fridlund

October 8

Robert Brain, University of British Columbia
"The Pulse of Modernism: Physiology Laboratories and Artistic Avant-gardes ca. 1900"

This paper examines the role of the experimental physiology laboratory as the middle term between industrial procedures and artistic practices and ideologies of early modernism. Proponents of laboratory inscription techniques sponsored a skepticism towards traditional and consensual languages, methods, and institutions in favor a new modernist focus on essential and formalized protocols, and a "kantian" reflexion on the conditions of possibility of scientific knowledge. From the physiology laboratory these familiar modernist standards migrated into the ateliers of painters, poets, musicians, and architects. I describe several different pathways between labs and modernist artistic movements in both France and Germany, showing how experimental physiology was pressed into the service of a different kind of modernism in each country. French artists used physiological aesthetics to transform representational techniques but left the traditional categories of artistic spectatorship unchanged. German vanguards, by contract, joined physiology with homegrown notions of empathy (Einfuehlung) and expression to create an aesthetics of the body-turned-inside-out, a relation of projection and recovery that would heal the ills of the division of labor in society. With the attempts of the Bauhaus and others to produce industrial artworks of everyday life, the transitive relation of industrialism, physiology, and artistic modernism came full circle.

October 22

Vanessa Ryan, Harvard University Society of Fellows
"Automatism: Victorian Cognitive Theory and Metaphors of the Mind"

Can we compare the mind to a machine? Are there parts of the mind that remain hidden from us? Drawing on both literary passages and scientific lectures-from George Eliot to Thomas Henry Huxley-this paper will examine the proliferation of new technologies of automata and the rise of new theories of the mind as machine. In ways that might seem to mirror the interests of today's cognitive theory, both novelists and scientists alike were drawn to the vexing questions of volition, self-knowledge, and creativity raised by the nineteenth-century debate over the "automaton theory" of the mind.

November 5

Mats Fridlund, Northwestern University
"The Tools of Terror: Towards a History of the Science and Technology of Terrorism"

This paper focuses on the roles scientific knowledge, engineering expertise, and the appropriation of industrial technologies and commercial products have played in the rise of modern terrorism during the 19th and 20th centuries.

November 12

Alison Winter, University of Chicago
"Natural Magic and the Policing of Scientific Research (Martin Orne)"

January 21

Patrick Singy, Department of History and Program in Science in Human Culture, Northwestern U.
“Perception and Percussion: Rethinking the Emergence of Modern Medicine”

February 11

Pauline Kusiak, Department of History and Program in Science in Human Culture, Northwestern U.
“Medical Instruments, Mentalities-Talk, and Civil Epistemologies of Late Colonialism in French West Africa”

February 25

Arnold I. Davidson, Department of Philosophy and the Divinity School, University of Chicago
“Foucault and the Epistemological Use of History”

March 5

FILM SYMPOSIUM (organizer: Scott Curtis, School of Communication)
“Scientific Projections: Science and the Moving Image”

Speakers: Peter Galison, Lisa Cartwright, Hannah Landecker, Scott Curtis, with responses by Alison Winter and Tom Gunning.

Event sponsored by the School of Communication and the Science in Human Culture Program

March 11

Josh Ellenbogen, Department of Art History, University of Chicago
“Reasoned and Unreasoned Images: Bertillon, Marey, Duhem”