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:
- Log in, or create an account
- Click on a group below
- Click on the "Membership" tab and select "Request Group Membership"
Submit a discussion paper for one of the working groups.
Please set your timezone.
"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.
Discussions on smallpox and smallpox vaccination according to Şanizade - Yasemin Akçagüner (Columbia University, New York)
Jason Pribilsky joins us from Whitman College to workshop his chapter, “Dream Collecting in the Cold War Andes: Probing and Projecting Indigenous Interiors in Cornell-Peru Project at Vicos.”
Natalia Gándara (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso). Title TBA
Rachel Silberstein, A Fashionable Century: Textile Artistry and Commerce in Late Qing (Seattle: Washington University Press, 2020), Introduction and chapter 3.
Marta Lourenço (Museum of Science and Natural History of the University of Lisbon), "Engaging Storytelling: Reading Artefacts of Science"
"Classification Challenges: Precarity, legibility, and gendering expert labour"
Drew Danielle Belsky
Title: Alluring Stimulant: Poison, the Body, and a Reinterpretation of Side Effects
"Mie's Theory of Matter and Gravitation" by C. Smeenk and C. Martin and "Foundations of a Theory of Matter (excerpts)" by G. Mie as in "The Genesis of General Relativity - Sources and Interpretations" edited by M. Janssen, J. Norton, J. Renn, T. Sauer and J. Stachel (Springer, 2007), https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-1-4020-4000-9
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.
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.
Vanessa Freije, University of Washington, "Imaginaries of Satellite Technology in Hidalgo, Mexico”
Mikael Wolfe, Stanford University, "Visual and Aural Aesthetics of the 1970 Ten million-ton Sugar Harvest in Cuba”
"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)
- 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.”
Dominik Hünniger, Universität Hamburg, "The museum at sea - collecting ecologies of marine micro-fauna at the Museum Godeffroy (ca. 1861-1885)"
Julia Sanchez-Dorado, Technische Universität Berlin and Susan Sterrett, Wichita State University, "The meandering epistemic status of river models in American hydraulics (1922-1949)"
In this session, we will read Hadley Cantril & Gordon Allport's “Education,” from The Psychology of Radio (1935) and Brian C. Gregory's draft chapter “Developing Critical Listening: Educational Radio, Civic Participation, and Early Media Literacy”.
Noah Kahrs - PhD candidate, University of Rochester
Chapter title: "Electronic Music’s Separation of Acoustics from Tonality" from a dissertation currently titled: "Composing (with) Theories of Acoustics and Pitch Perception after 1950."
Podcasting Applied Medical History
This session brings together scholars who have succeeded in creating broader conversations about the history of medicine and the social, racial, and economic determinants of health through the medium of podcasting.
Matthew Smith (University of Strathclyde): Producer/Host, "History in Action" Podcast
Max Jordan Nguemeni Tiako (Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA): Producer/Host, "Flip the Script" Podcast
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)
Yixue's paper may be downloaded from the website here. Please do not circulate the paper, as it is a work in progress.
"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
Cold War Cartographic Technologies
Julie Gibbings, The University of Edinburgh
Sebastian Diaz Angel, Cornell University
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.
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"
“Being Natural”: Science, Environment, Sexuality and the Life of Marston Bates"
Blind in Early Modern Japan: Disability, Medicine, and Identity
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)”
"Aromatic Medicines and Divine Scents in Women's Medicine"
Wee-Siang Margaret Ng (College of Wooster)
Dr. Helge Wendt, “Building materials from coal-waste. An extension of the history of energy in the interwar period in France and Germany.”
Speaker: Dr Vijaya Deshpande
Title: TBA (on a Sanskrit work on alchemy. See the BORI publication launch: https://youtu.be/jKJJaIJPOEA )
Natalia Gándara Chacana, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaiso, Chile
Patrick McCray, University of California, Santa Barbara
Virdi, J. (2020). Hearing Happiness: Deafness Cures in History. University of Chicago Press.
Group Discussion: Processing and Planning for Next Year
Shireen Hamza (Harvard) and Eric Moses Gurevitch (Vanderbilt), "The Promise of Medieval Sciences, the Perils of Global History."
During this meeting, we will discuss the "Research" section of the planned volume, featuring the following essays:
- Marco Ramos, "Red Tape"
- Lauren MacIvor Thompson, "Legal Considerations"
- Tracey Loughran, "Oral History"
- Jonathan Sadowsky, "Difficult History"
- Eli Nelson, "Indigenous Methodologies"
- Stephen Casper, "Expert Witnessing"
The essay drafts will be uploaded on June 1.
"Who Is a Maker? Artisan Knowledge in Medieval India."
Eric Gurevitch (Vanderbilt)
· Tobah Aukland-Peck, “Mineral landscapes: The Mine and British Modernism.”
· V. M. Roberts, “Grandpa Tallman’s Engine.”
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)
James Allison, “Seeing Coal: The Geologists, Local Actors, and Distant Capitalists that Industrialized Appalachia.”
"Figuring Racial Difference in Early Nineteenth-Century France"
Stephanie O'Rourke (St Andrews)
"'The Männel is a root, it should be called an Allraune': A Mandrake, Magic, and Money in Seventeenth-Century Saxony"
Tara Nummedal (Brown)
Response: Alisha Rankin (Tufts)
"Marginal Recipes, Major Insights: Exploring the Manuscript Contexts of Early Medieval Medical Knowledge"
Claire Burridge (Sheffield)
"Anatomy and the Early Académie Royale des Sciences"
Katherine Reinhart (Binghamton)