Working Groups

The Consortium invites scholars to join our topical working groups for challenging and collegial discussion of interesting publications in their fields and of each others’ works-in-progress.

Each group meets monthly. All interested scholars are welcome to participate via online video conferencing.

To join a group:

  1. Log in, or create an account
  2. Click on a group below
  3. Click on the "Membership" tab and select "Request Group Membership"

Submit a discussion paper for one of the working groups.

Upcoming Meetings

Please set your timezone.

Friday, December 1, 2023 11:00 am EST

We are going to discuss the changing concept of resources in the early modern and modern period.
“Focus: Resources in the Early Modern World,” Isis 114, no. 3 (September 1, 2023): 599–645,
Peter B. Lavelle, The Profits of Nature: Colonial Development and the Quest for Resources in Nineteenth-Century China (New York: Columbia University Press, 2020), Chapter 2.

Friday, December 1, 2023 12:00 pm EST

Diana Marsh and Katrina Fenlon (University of Maryland), "Linking Analog Archival Data Across Scientific Disciplines: What’s Next?"

Monday, December 4, 2023 11:30 am EST

We will be reading and discussing five short (500 word) summaries of research, based on an ASEH panel from 2022, which the authors -- Faizah Zakaria, Theresa Ventura, Claire Perrott, Adam Bobbette, and Daniella McCahey -- have expanded upon for an upcoming Isis focus section on twentieth-century volcanology. The beauty and violence of volcanoes have made them into a long source of human fascination.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023 2:00 pm EST

Oral History with David Caruso (Science History Institute) and Jannekan Smucker (West Chester University)

Thursday, December 7, 2023 11:00 am EST

Aisling Shalvey, "'I didn't think I could survive it... The bleeding was stopped completely': The role of women, gender and sexuality in biomedical experiments during National Socialism"

Thursday, December 7, 2023 12:00 pm EST

Join us on December 7th for a conversation with Christopher Heaney about his new book, Empires of the Dead 

Thursday, December 7, 2023 2:00 pm EST

Sam Hege, “When Noxious Odors Prevail”: Dust, Race, and the Creation of an Agro-Industrial Complex in the Texas Panhandle

Friday, December 8, 2023 11:00 am EST

"Anatomy and the Early Académie Royale des Sciences"
Katherine Reinhart (Binghamton)
Response: Antoine Gallay (Geneva)

Friday, December 8, 2023 1:30 pm EST
  • Wout Saelens, “Energy politics: urban fuel policy and the transition to coal in Ghent (eighteenth-nineteenth centuries).”


Tuesday, December 12, 2023 10:00 am EST

Gregory Radick, "Language, Darwinism and the Human/Non-Human Boundary"

Tuesday, December 12, 2023 12:00 pm EST

Emily Herrington, Touch Hunger: The story of hand transplants (Introduction)

Wednesday, December 13, 2023 9:30 am EST

Heisenberg - "Quantum-theoretical re-interpretations of kinematic and mechanical relations" (Z. Phys, 1925);
Blum, Jähnert, Lehner, Renn - "Translation as heuristics: Heisenberg's turn to matrix mechanics" (Studies, 2017);
Guest: Alexander Blum

Wednesday, December 13, 2023 6:30 pm EST

James Lowe and David Ingram, "DNA Barcoding and the Changing Ontological Commitments of Taxonomy" (2023, Biology and Philosophy)

Thursday, December 14, 2023 10:00 am EST

Elena Agudio (Villa Romana) and Marleen Boschen (Goldsmiths, University of London / Tate): Testing Grounds / Seeding Worlds: Intersections of Art and Ecology in the Garden of Villa Romana, Florence

Thursday, December 14, 2023 12:00 pm EST

"Cameroon in Berlin. A collaborative assessment of collections and archives from the mammal collections in the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin"
with Paul Taku Bisong, MSc in Evolution, Ecology and Systematics from the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany, with a dissertation entitled "The Batanga Expedition in German 'Kamerun' (1887): The Role of the first 'Kolonialzoologe' Bernhard Weissenborn." He is the author of an assessment on the type material from "Kamerun" in the mammal collection of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin.

Thursday, December 14, 2023 1:00 pm EST

Francisco Tijerina, Washington University in St. Louis, TBA

Friday, December 15, 2023 10:00 am EST

Zotero bibliography "hackathon"
Please join us as we start building our shared library!
Register here: 

Monday, December 18, 2023 10:30 am EST

Incurability as ‘disability’ in classical Āyurveda: The case of vision disorders
Tulika Singh (University of Alberta)

Tuesday, December 19, 2023 7:00 am EST

We're partnering with the International Commission of the History of Oceanography to host a fun and informal reading group of portions of Jamie Jones's new book, Rendered Obsolete: Energy Culture and the Afterlife of US Whaling, with the intention of bringing together scholars of ocean history across Asia and beyond (thus the special time slot!) Readings from the book's introduction and first chapter will be posted in advance of the meeting.

Tuesday, December 19, 2023 11:00 am EST

Digitizing Paget, Finlay and Dufaycolor photographs at National Geographic Society
Jan Hubička 

Tuesday, December 19, 2023 1:00 pm EST

Daniella McCahey, Texas Tech University, "A Model for Extraterrestrial Settlement: Antarctica as an Analogue for Space"

Wednesday, December 20, 2023 10:00 am EST

In this session, we will read contributions from the just-published The Ghost Reader: Recovering Women’s Contributions to Media Studies (Goldsmiths Press, 2023), including the introduction by the editors, Elena D. Hristova, Aimee-Marie Dorsten, and Carol A. Stabile, and a chapter by Marianne Kinkel on “Gene Weltfish (1902–1980).”

Tuesday, January 9, 2024 10:00 am EST

Paul Michael Kurtz, "Knowledge Infrastructure ca. 1900: The Case of Assyriology at the British Museum" 

Wednesday, January 10, 2024 12:00 pm EST


Thursday, January 11, 2024 10:00 am EST

Sumana Roy (Ashoka University): The Quest for the Plant Script

Thursday, January 11, 2024 1:00 pm EST

David Pretel, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, TBA

Friday, January 12, 2024 11:00 am EST

"Roundtable: The Malleable Body: Surgeons, Artisans and Amputees in Early Modern Germany (Manchester UP, 2023)"
Heidi Hausse (Auburn)
Pamela O. Long (Independent)
Alisha Rankin (Tufts)
Paolo Savioa (Bologna)

Friday, January 12, 2024 1:30 pm EST
  • Julia Mead, “Frozen Assets: Czechoslovakia’s 1979 Blizzard and the Energetic Social Contract of Late Socialism”


Tuesday, January 16, 2024 2:00 pm EST

Anne Ricculli, Morris Museum

Thursday, January 18, 2024 12:00 pm EST

Taking ‘Patient’ Histories
This session will focus on how scholars can engage with ‘patient’ narratives  in both oral testimonies and archival records responsibly, in ways that avoid replicating medicalization and pathologization.

Friday, January 19, 2024 12:00 pm EST

Ana Carolina Vimieiro Gomes, Professor of History of Sciences at the Department of History at the Federal University of Minas Gerais.
Rosanna Dent, Assistant Professor, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

Monday, January 22, 2024 10:30 am EST

Hues of faces and phases: insights on crafting high-tin bronzes in southern India
Dr Sharada Srinivasan (National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, India)

Tuesday, January 23, 2024 1:00 pm EST

Sajdeep Soomal, Doctoral Candidate, University of Toronto, “Refining Planetary Consciousness.”

Thursday, February 1, 2024 12:00 pm EST

Javiera Letelier (UC Irvine) & Pablo Pryluka (Princeton University), "Household appliances and consumers in Cold War Southern Cone"

Thursday, February 1, 2024 2:00 pm EST

Short Writings Roundtable
If you have a shorter piece--an abstract, a research description, an op-ed, etc.--that you would like feedback on, this session is for you! Please send you short piece to Melanie or Jason by January 19 for posting.

Friday, February 2, 2024 12:00 pm EST

Bashira Chowdhury and Jim Giesen (Mississippi State University), Talk Title TBA

Thursday, February 8, 2024 10:00 am EST

Semih Celik (University of Exeter): 'A Museum in the Cradle of Civilization': The Imperial Natural History Museum in Istanbul and its Aftermath (1836-1870)

Thursday, February 8, 2024 1:00 pm EST

Mikael Wolfe, Stanford University
Fabian Prieto-Nañez, VirginiaTech

Friday, February 9, 2024 11:00 am EST

"Translating New World Drugs in Late Renaissance Italy: The Case of Indies Balsam"
Sharon Strocchia (Emory)
Response: Mackenzie Cooley (Hamilton)

Friday, February 9, 2024 1:30 pm EST
  • Chad Montrie, “‘What is Labour’s Stake?’: Workers and the History of Environmentalism in Alberta.”


Tuesday, February 13, 2024 9:00 am EST

Kristine Palmieri, "Grand Visions of Alterthumswissenschaft: Classical Philology as Language Science in early Nineteenth-Century Germany"

Wednesday, February 14, 2024 9:30 am EST

Falconer - „Vortices and atoms in the Maxwellian era“
Guest: Isobel Falconer (tbc)

Thursday, February 15, 2024 12:00 pm EST

Oral Histories
This meeting will reckon with the value and challenges of using oral history as a source in humanities and social science research on reproduction.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 2:00 pm EST

Kimia Shahi, University of Southern California

Monday, February 26, 2024 10:30 am EST

The yogi who became a Muslim: Indian Alchemy and Pseudograph Sufi Writings in South Asia
Dr. Fabrizio Speziale (School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, Paris-Marseille)

Tuesday, February 27, 2024 1:00 pm EST

Ann Daly, Mississippi State University.

Friday, March 1, 2024 12:00 pm EST

Joshua Bell (National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian), Talk Title TBA

Thursday, March 7, 2024 2:00 pm EST

Evan Roberts, "Young but daily growing? The decline of stunting and growth faltering in the United States, 1857-2014" 

Friday, March 8, 2024 11:00 am EST

"Ghosts in Wellcome's Medieval Galleries"
Lauren Rozenberg (UEA/Leverhulme)
Response: tbc


Friday, March 8, 2024 1:30 pm EST
  • Minseok Jang, Testing a New Energy Resource: Fire Tests and the Risk of Kerosene in the Anglo-American World, 1859-1911


Wednesday, March 13, 2024 9:30 am EDT

Heilbron, Rovelli - "Matrix Mechanics Mis-Prized: Max Born's Belated Nobelization"
Guest: Carlo Rovelli

Thursday, March 14, 2024 10:00 am EDT

Taiye Fasola (University of Ibadan): The Relevance of Ethnobotany for a Modern Society

Thursday, March 14, 2024 1:00 pm EDT

Vanessa Freije, University of Washington, TBA
Daniel Reboucas, Federal University of Bahia

Monday, March 18, 2024 10:30 am EDT

Material aspects of some early modern Sri Lankan medical manuscripts
Dr. Anna Elizabeth Winterbottom (McGill University)

Tuesday, March 19, 2024 2:00 pm EDT

Elexis Trinity Williams Gray, Cornell University

Thursday, March 21, 2024 12:00 pm EDT

Reproductive Technologies
This session will examine the history and future trends of researching and writing about reproductive technologies.

Monday, March 25, 2024 11:00 am EDT

Admire Mseba will present on "The Challenges of Collaborative Locust Control in Late Twentieth Century Southern Africa, 1960s-1980s," followed by a discussion.

Thursday, April 4, 2024 11:00 am EDT

Diana Anselmo, "To Love so Much it Hurts: 'Bad Feelings,' Medicine, and Movie-Mad Female Audiences in the 1910s"

Friday, April 5, 2024 12:00 pm EDT

Judy Kaplan (Science History Institute), "Taking Stock of Documentary Linguistic Archives After Twenty Five Years":
This presentation will summarize findings of a collaborative writing project recently undertaken for the History of Anthropology Review. The project has asked several stakeholders (e.g. linguists, archivists, and community educators) to reflect on their experiences with digital language archives about a quarter century after the paradigm of documentary linguistics first took shape. 

Thursday, April 11, 2024 10:00 am EDT

Chanelle Adams (University of Lausanne): Volatile Oils: 'Wellness', Political Power, and the Market for Ravintsara Essential Oil in Madagascar

Thursday, April 11, 2024 1:00 pm EDT

Julie Gibbings, University of Edinburgh, "Viewing Genocide's Aftermaths from Above: Aerial Photography and the Rio Chixoy Dam in Guatemala"

Friday, April 12, 2024 11:00 am EDT

"Discussion: Objects, Images, and Spaces of Health...  for Broad Publics"
Mary Fissell (Johns Hopkins)
Jack Hartnell (UEA)

Friday, April 12, 2024 1:30 pm EDT
  • Andrew Kettler, “Disenchanting the Senses: Sulfuric Discourse and the World System”


Monday, April 15, 2024 10:30 am EDT

Al-Bīrūnī’s Taḥqīq mā li-l-Hind and the transmission of sciences in the early eleventh-century Gandhara and Panjab
Dr. Noémie Verdon (University of Lausanne)

Tuesday, April 16, 2024 2:00 pm EDT

Alessandra Passariello, Naples Zoological Station

Thursday, April 18, 2024 12:00 pm EDT

Gender, Masculinity and Reproduction
Here, we will explore how gender and masculinity shapes how we think about human reproductive experiences and the histories we write about them.

Monday, April 22, 2024 11:00 am EDT

Dominik Hünniger and Lisa Onaga

Thursday, May 2, 2024 2:00 pm EDT

Slava Savova, "Re-Ottomanizing modernity: domesticating balneology in early to mid-20th century Bulgaria"

This dissertation chapter examines the local intermingling of a specific type of sociomedical architectures – Ottoman and European thermal baths - and the persistent vernacular uses that bind them together.

Friday, May 3, 2024 12:00 pm EDT

Lucas Richert and Hannah Swan (University of Wisconsin), Talk Title TBA

Thursday, May 9, 2024 10:00 am EDT

Neda Saeedi (Tehran / Berlin): "Swear by the Fig, Swear by the Olive"
"Swear by the Fig, Swear by the Olive" explores urban and territorial landscapes and their flora, used to justify land ownership and deprivation in conflict zones.

Thursday, May 9, 2024 1:00 pm EDT

Yohad Zacarías, University of Texas at Austin, TBA
Diana Montaño, Washington University in St. Louis

Friday, May 10, 2024 1:30 pm EDT
  • Odinn Melsted and Candida Sánchez-Burmester, “Geoscience Spillover: The Oil Industry and Geothermal Development in Greater California, 1960s-1970s”
  • Dante LaRiccia, “Kurt Waldheim, the United Nations, and the Campaign for a ‘World Energy Order’


Tuesday, May 14, 2024 9:00 am EDT

Chen-Pang Yeang, "Information, Cryptography, and Noise" 

Thursday, May 16, 2024 12:00 pm EDT

Reproducing History: Writing Histories of the Personal
This session will focus on how historians have used their own healthcare experiences to complement and inform their research and advocacy work.

Monday, May 20, 2024 10:30 am EDT

Are the Elements and the Pañcabhūta the Same (Thing)? Epistemic Objects between
Science, Religion, and Philosophy in Colonial North India, c.1920

Dr. Charu Singh (University of Cambridge)

Tuesday, May 21, 2024 2:00 pm EDT

Jonathan Galka, Harvard University, “'The offer which the ocean has given us': The Law of the Sea, the New International Economic Order, and the Promises of Manganese Nodules in the Global 1970s"

Tuesday, May 28, 2024 1:00 pm EDT

Nithyanand Rao, Doctoral Student, University of California, San Diego.

Thursday, June 13, 2024 10:00 am EDT

Sahar Bazzaz (College of the Holy Cross): Plants of the Red Sea Littoral: PE Botta's Expedition to Yemen, 1836

Thursday, June 13, 2024 12:00 pm EDT

Katherine Arnold, Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, LMU München 

Title: TBA
Abstract: TBA

Friday, June 14, 2024 1:30 pm EDT
  • Joya John, Energy Histories, Museums, and Postcolonial Development in India


Thursday, July 11, 2024 10:00 am EDT

Maxmillian J Chuhila (University of Dar es Salaam): Green Imperialism and Biomedical Campaigns in Colonial Tanganyika

Thursday, September 12, 2024 10:00 am EDT

Guillermo Pupo Pernet (University of Arkansas): Achiote: Painting the Town Red