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.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023 11:00 am EST

Cholera, the Hijaz Railroad: A Reversed Reasoning? - Benan Grams (Georgetown University, Washington DC.)

Wednesday, February 8, 2023 9:30 am EST

In our next meeting we will focus on the influence of Weyl (1918) on the development of later gravitational theories, and discuss Erhard Scholz's paper "Gauging the spacetime metric – looking back and forth a century later". (Attached below)

Wednesday, February 8, 2023 12:00 pm EST

John Stewart, University of Oklahoma
John Stewart is Assistant Director of the Office of Digital Learning at the University of Oklahoma. An expert in all things digital (and a founding co-organizer of the Digital History Working Group!), John will lead a discussion on the sudden rise of ChatGPT and its implications for historians of science. 

Thursday, February 9, 2023 12:00 pm EST

During this meeting, we will discuss the "Writing" section of the planned volume, featuring the following essays: 

  • Michaela Clark, "Images"
  • Jessica Martucci and Britt Dahlberg, "Digital Humanities"
  • Ayah Nuriddin, "Silences and Violences"
  • Claire Clark & Amy Sullivan, "Language"
  • Courtney Thompson, "Citation" 


Thursday, February 9, 2023 1:00 pm EST

Pete Soland, “A Bird’s Eye View of Latin America: Aviation Technology and High Modernism in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru”

Friday, February 10, 2023 11:00 am EST

Epistemic Images: A Discussion
With Sietske Fransen (Bibliotheca Hertziana - Max Planck Institute for Art History)
Response: Alicia Petersen (Yale)... and all OISH Members

Friday, February 10, 2023 1:30 pm EST

Katja Bruisch, “More-than-human histories of extraction: Labour at the margins of Russia’s fossil economy.”

Tuesday, February 14, 2023 12:00 pm EST

Title: “Carthorses, Jades, and Equine Disability”

Wednesday, February 15, 2023 10:00 am EST

In this session, we will read Kit Coppard, Paddy Whannel, Raymond Williams, and Tony Higgins's “Television Supplement” (New Left Review, 1961) and Susan Douglas's draft chapters “Introduction” and “What Is Culture?”

Thursday, February 16, 2023 11:30 am EST

We'll discuss the introduction and first chapter of Fanny Gribensky's new book, Tuning the World: The Rise of 440 Hertz in Music, Science, and Politics, 1859–1955 (Chicago, 2023).

Friday, February 17, 2023 10:00 am EST

"Competent From Personal Experience": Networks of Engineers and Decision Making behind South Korea's Mungyong Cement Plant

A work-in-progress by Juyoung Lee, PhD candidate in history of science and technology at Johns Hopkins University (USA). This is a chapter draft from Juyoung's forthcoming dissertation.
Chapter draft will be available for download by 10 February 2023.

Friday, February 17, 2023 12:00 pm EST

Community Archiving

Friday, February 17, 2023 12:00 pm EST

Guest: Jorge Quetzal Argueta Prado, México. 
Title of the presentation: El cultivo del maíz en México en la primera mitad del siglo XX: modernizaciones contenciosas y reflexividades ambientales.
Reading: Text will be attached soon.
Previous Works:

Monday, February 20, 2023 10:00 am EST

Speaker: Anthony Cerulli, Professor of South Asian Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Topic:  We will discuss Prof. Cerulli's new monograph, The Practice of Texts: Education and Healing in South India (University of California Press, 2022).  The book is available as Open Access in several formats.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023 2:00 pm EST

Kunyan Zheng, Trinity College Dublin, "Medical knowledge of marine fish in early modern England"

Tuesday, February 21, 2023 6:00 pm EST

Andrew Meade McGee, National Air and Space Museum, “The Electronic Origins of the Neoliberal Order: Computers, Digital Technologies, and the Re-Shaping of State-Market Relations, 1968-1988." 

Friday, February 24, 2023 12:00 pm EST

Histories of Science in Latin America and Asia: A Conversation Across Regions

Wednesday, March 1, 2023 12:00 pm EST

Cameron Brinitzer, a Berggruen Fellow at the UCS Dornsife Center on Science, Technology, and Public Life, joins us to discuss his article-in-progress: “The Evolution of Culture: Materializing an Elusive Concept.”  

Thursday, March 2, 2023 12:00 pm EST

Food, Science, and State in Latin America
Session Coordinator: Stefan Pohl (Universidad de Rosario, Colombia)
Sören Brinckman (University of Wrocław), author of Milk for the Tropics! Food Regulation and Nutrition Policy using the Example of Urban Milk Supply in Brazil (1889-1964) [written in German].
Joshua F. Frens-String (The University of Texas at Austin), author of Hungry for Revolution: The Politics of Food and the Making of Modern Chile.

Friday, March 3, 2023 12:00 pm EST

Ally Fulton (University of California-Davis), “Stenographic Specimens in the Preservation of American Science”

Friday, March 3, 2023 2:30 pm EST

"Elizabeth Agassiz's Stenography and the Preservation of Professional Science"
Allison Fulton

Monday, March 6, 2023 10:00 am EST

Special session for the discussion of future directions for the history of science in early SA, and especially funding.

Monday, March 6, 2023 11:30 am EST

We will discuss a recent article that was awarded the Rainger prize (for early career scholarship in the history of the earth and environmental sciences) at last November's History of Science Society meeting:
Claire Isabel Webb, "Gaze-Scaling: Planets as Islands in Exobiologists' Imaginaries," Science as Culture 30, no. 3 (2021): 391-415.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023 11:00 am EST

Merits of the Plague by Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani: Reflections on a New Translation - Joel Blecher (George Washington University) and Mairaj Syed (University of California, Davis)

Wednesday, March 8, 2023 12:00 pm EST

Sylvia Fernández Quintanilla, University of Texas at San Antonio
Abstract: TBD. Check back a week or two before the meeting date to access the pre-circulated paper and Zoom link.

Thursday, March 9, 2023 12:00 pm EST

During this meeting, we will discuss the "Teaching" section of the planned volume, featuring the following essays: 

  • Antoine Johnson & Gloria Lockett, "Decolonizing the Syllabus"
  • Beatriz Pichel, "Images and Primary Sources"
  • Sharrona Pearl, "Grading and Assignments"
  • Cornelia Lambert, "Constructive Discomfort"
  • Shannon Withycombe, "Teaching Graduate Students about Ethics"
  • Lan Li, "Ethics of Teaching Future Health Professionals" 

The essay drafts will be uploaded on March 2. 

Thursday, March 9, 2023 1:00 pm EST

Presenter 1: Mónica Salas Landa, Lafayette College, “A Postcard View of Progress:” Pemex’s Visual Propaganda and the Aesthetics of Mexico’s Technological Nationalism, 1950”

Friday, March 10, 2023 11:00 am EST

“Cutting the Body: Jacopo Berengario da Carpi and the Anatomical Woodcut”
Ariella Minden (Toronto / Bibliotheca Hertziana - Max Planck Institute for Art History)
Response: Taylor McCall (Medieval Academy) 

Friday, March 10, 2023 1:30 pm EST

Nathan N. Kapoor, "The Coal Answer: The Huntly Power Station and New Zealand's Energy Regime."

Tuesday, March 14, 2023 12:00 pm EDT

Symptoms of Insurrection: Contagion, Disease, and Social Disorder in Maria Edgeworth's Ennui

Thursday, March 16, 2023 11:30 am EDT

Kelli Smith-Biwer
Dissertation chapter - TBA

Friday, March 17, 2023 10:00 am EDT

¡Alerta! Engineering on Shaky Ground

A discussion with Elizabeth Reddy, PhD, of her recently published book with MIT's Engineering Studies Series, ¡Alerta! Engineering on Shaky Ground (MIT Press, 2023).


Monday, March 20, 2023 10:00 am EDT

Speaker: Dr Lisa Brooks
Topic:  tba

Tuesday, March 21, 2023 2:00 pm EDT

Nancy Ko, Columbia University

Tuesday, March 21, 2023 6:00 pm EDT

Jesse Smith, Science History Institute

Friday, March 24, 2023 12:00 pm EDT

Alexander Statman (UCLA), “Canal: Cross-Cultural Encounters and the Control of Water"
Duygu Yildirim (University of Tennessee), "Coffee: Of Melancholic Turkish Bodies and Sensory Experiences"
Discussant: Ahmed Ragab (Johns Hopkins University)

Monday, April 3, 2023 11:30 am EDT

"Engineering on Trial: The 1920 Nile Projects Controversy and Epistemologies of Measurement”
Anthony Greco, University of California, Santa Barbara
This work-in-progress explores how medieval Arabic literary traditions, Egyptian nationalist engineers, and British physical scientists shaped the methods of hydraulic science in the Nile Valley of 1920. The physical and social networks which produced and circulated hydraulic data on the Nile reflected the complex relationship between science, colonialism, and national liberation. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2023 11:00 am EDT

Discussions on smallpox and smallpox vaccination according to Şanizade - Yasemin Akçagüner (Columbia University, New York)

Thursday, April 6, 2023 12:00 pm EDT

Natalia Gándara (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso). Title TBA

Friday, April 7, 2023 12:00 pm EDT

Marta Lourenco (Universidade de Lisboa, Museu Nacional de Historia e da Cienca), Talk Title TBA

Friday, April 7, 2023 2:30 pm EDT

"Mother Hens: Women and the social reproduction of medical illustration"
Drew Danielle Belsky

Tuesday, April 11, 2023 12:00 pm EDT

Title: Alluring Stimulant: Poison, the Body, and a Reinterpretation of Side Effects

Wednesday, April 12, 2023 12:00 pm EDT

Roopika Risam, Dartmouth College
Abstract: TBD. Check back a week or two before the meeting date to access the pre-circulated paper and Zoom link.

Thursday, April 13, 2023 12:00 pm EDT

During this meeting, we will discuss the "Historian" section of the planned volume, featuring the following essays: 

  • Barron Lerner, "Positionality"
  • Richard McKay, "Becoming an Ethical Historian"
  • Kylie Smith, "Reparatory History"
  • Adam Biggs, "Historical Therapeutics"
  • Nicole Schroeder, "Accessibility"
  • Jess Dillard-Wright, "Advocacy and Activism"

The essay drafts will be uploaded on April 6. 

Thursday, April 13, 2023 1:00 pm EDT

Presenter 1: Vanessa Freije, University of Washington, "Imaginaries of Satellite Technology in Hidalgo, Mexico”

Friday, April 14, 2023 11:00 am EDT

"Can Mixtures Be Identified by Touch? The Reception of Galen’s De complexionibus in Italian Renaissance Medicine"
Viktoria von Hoffmann (FNRS / Liège)
Response: Anita Guerrini (Oregon State)

Friday, April 14, 2023 1:30 pm EDT
  • Michiel Bron, “Uranium’s geographies: How the geographical properties of uranium determined the formation of an infamous cartel and the involvement of oil companies in the uranium market.”
  • Hilary Blum, “The Public Need to Know: Public Relations, Public History, and Secrecy at the Hanford Nuclear Site.”
Monday, April 17, 2023 10:00 am EDT

Speaker: Dr Cristina Pecchia, University of Vienna and  Austrian Academy of Sciences
Topic: TBA

Tuesday, April 18, 2023 2:00 pm EDT

Dominik Hünniger, Universität Hamburg, "The museum at sea - collecting ecologies of marine micro-fauna at the Museum Godeffroy (ca. 1861-1885)"

Tuesday, April 18, 2023 6:00 pm EDT

Julia Sanchez-Dorado, Technische Universität Berlin and Susan Sterrett, Wichita State University

Thursday, April 20, 2023 11:30 am EDT

Noah Kahrs
dissertation chapter - details and draft TBA

Friday, April 28, 2023 12:00 pm EDT

Paper Discussion: 'Revolutionary Vision: Myopia, Socialist Youth and Public Health Campaigns in China (1960-1976)’
Yixue Yang (University of California, San Diego)
Discussant: Dora Vargha (Humboldt University Berlin)

Monday, May 1, 2023 11:30 am EDT

"Imagining A ‘Peatlandian Humanities’ for the ‘Lungs of Humanity’: An African Carbon Sink in the Congo Basin and the Climate Emergency"
Frank Blibo, Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Thursday, May 4, 2023 12:00 pm EDT

Cold War Cartographic Technologies 
Julie Gibbings, The University of Edinburgh 
Sebastian Diaz Angel, Cornell University 

Thursday, May 4, 2023 12:00 pm EDT

During this meeting, we will discuss the "Museums & Archives" section of the planned volume, featuring the following essays: 

  • Melissa Grafe, "Specimens"
  • Aisling Shalvey, "Human Remains"
  • Katrina Jirik, "Disability"
  • Amanda Mahoney, "Stewardship"
  • Shelley Saggar, "Decolonizing Archives and Museums"
  • Aparna Nair, "Commercialization of Remains and Records"

The essay drafts will be uploaded on April 27. 

Friday, May 5, 2023 12:00 pm EDT

Pedro Raposo (Martha Hamilton and I. Wistar Morris III Executive Director, Library and Archives, The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University) and Paul Callomon (Collections Manager, Malacology, The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University), "People, Nature, and the Social Extension of Specimens"

Friday, May 5, 2023 2:30 pm EDT

“Being Natural”: Science, Environment, Sexuality and the Life of Marston Bates"
Megan Raby

Tuesday, May 9, 2023 12:00 pm EDT

Blind in Early Modern Japan: Disability, Medicine, and Identity

Wednesday, May 10, 2023 12:00 pm EDT


Thursday, May 11, 2023 1:00 pm EDT
  • Presenter 1: Dafne Cruz Porchini, Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), “The artist Fermín Revueltas and the Visual Imaginaries of Technology in Mexico: the mural Allegory of Productivity (1934)”
Friday, May 12, 2023 11:00 am EDT

Title tbc
Wee-Siang Margaret Ng (College of Wooster)
Response: tbc

Friday, May 12, 2023 1:30 pm EDT

Dr. Helge Wendt, “Building materials from coal-waste. An extension of the history of energy in the interwar period in France and Germany.”

Monday, May 15, 2023 10:00 am EDT

Speaker: Dr Vijaya Deshpande
Title: TBA (on a Sanskrit work on alchemy.  See the BORI publication launch: )
Abstract: TBA

Tuesday, May 16, 2023 2:00 pm EDT

Natalia Gándara Chacana, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaiso, Chile

Tuesday, May 16, 2023 6:00 pm EDT

Patrick McCray, University of California, Santa Barbara

Friday, May 26, 2023 12:00 pm EDT

Shireen Hamza (Harvard) and Eric Moses Gurevitch (Vanderbilt), "The Promise of Medieval Sciences, the Perils of Global History."

Friday, June 9, 2023 11:00 am EDT

"Who Is a Maker? Artisan Knowledge in Medieval India."
Eric Gurevitch (Vanderbilt)
Response: (tbc)

Friday, June 9, 2023 1:30 pm EDT

·      Tobah Aukland-Peck, “Mineral landscapes: The Mine and British Modernism.”
·      V. M. Roberts, “Grandpa Tallman’s Engine.”

Friday, June 23, 2023 12:00 pm EDT

Paper discussion
Siddhartha Mukherjee (Jawaharlal Nehru University), "Controlling the Currents: Electricity Crisis and State Response in Delhi during the Second World War"
Discussant: Victor Seow (Harvard University)

Friday, July 14, 2023 11:00 am EDT

[Summer break]

Friday, July 14, 2023 1:30 pm EDT

 James Allison,  “Seeing Coal: The Geologists, Local Actors, and Distant Capitalists that Industrialized Appalachia.”

Friday, August 11, 2023 11:00 am EDT

[Summer break]

Friday, October 13, 2023 11:00 am EDT

Title tbc
Stephanie O'Rourke (St Andrews)
Response: tbc

Friday, November 10, 2023 11:00 am EST

"Marginal Recipes, Major Insights: Exploring the Manuscript Contexts of Early Medieval Medical Knowledge"
Claire Burridge (Sheffield)
Response: tbc

Friday, December 8, 2023 11:00 am EST

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