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, December 6, 2022 11:00 am EST

A Metaphor for Contagion in Qusṭā ibn Lūqā’s Book on Contagion - Shahrzad Irannejad (GRK 1876, JGU Mainz)

Wednesday, December 7, 2022 12:00 pm EST

Ali Sipahi joins us from the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at Özyeğin University, Istanbul, to workshop his paper, "How to be a good guest? American ethnographers in Cold War Turkey."

Thursday, December 8, 2022 1:00 pm EST
  • Presenter 1: Diana Montaño, Washington University in St. Louis, "Set-in-Stone Technologies: Metate & Gender in Twentieth Century Mexico"
  • Presenter 2: Yovanna Pineda, University of Central Florida, "The techno-aesthetics of gender, farm machine repair, and climate in rural Argentina, 19th & 20th centuries"
  • Moderator: Mikael Wolfe, Stanford University
Friday, December 9, 2022 11:00 am EST

Meredith Gamer (Columbia University)
“Bodies of Instruction"
Comment by Mary Fissell (John Hopkins University)

Friday, December 9, 2022 1:30 pm EST

Jennifer Eaglin, “Brazilian Nuclear Ambitions, Hydroelectricity, and Water Resources.”

Tuesday, December 13, 2022 12:00 pm EST

“Ronald Reagan, Frank Lanterman, and the Shape(ing) of Deinstitutionalization in California”

Wednesday, December 14, 2022 9:30 am EST

Please find here Albert Einstein's two papers on Teleparallelism from 1928, "Riemann-Geometrie mit Aufrechterhaltung des Begriffes des Fernparallelismus" and "Neue Möglichkeit für eine einheitliche Feldtheorie von Gravitation und Elektrizität" (both published in Sitzungsberichte der Preußischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, p.217-221, p.224-227 resp.), as translated to English by David Delphenich (self-published at

Wednesday, December 14, 2022 12:00 pm EST


Thursday, December 15, 2022 11:00 am EST

James Freeman and project team, 'Curious Cures in Cambridge Libraries'

Thursday, December 15, 2022 11:30 am EST

We'll be discussing

McCray, Patrick. 2020. Making Art Work: How Cold War Engineers and Artists Forged a New Creative Culture. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.


Friday, December 16, 2022 10:00 am EST

Technocratic Visions: Engineers, Technology, and Society in Mexico
A discussion with J. Justin Castro and James A. Garza of their recently published edited volume, Technocratic Visions: Engineers, Technology, and Society in Mexico (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2022).

Friday, December 16, 2022 12:00 pm EST

Teaching History of Medicine to Future and Current Medical Professionals

Friday, December 16, 2022 12:00 pm EST

Guest: Henrique Caldeira, PhD candidate, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Title of the presentation: "The Creation-Evolution Controversy in Brazil (1960-1990)"
Reading: Text will be attached soon.

Monday, December 19, 2022 10:00 am EST

Speaker: Dr Vitus Angermeier, PI at the FWF Project "Epidemics and Crisis Management in Pre-modern South Asia", University of Vienna
Topic:  Epidemiology in the Bhelasaṃhitā – the chapter on distinctions according to land and people

Tuesday, December 20, 2022 11:00 am EST

HOLIDAY SPECIAL: Focus Sessions, Q&A, & Social Gathering!
In order to kiss 2022 goodbye and to go into the new year filled with optimism, joy, and color photography inspiration, Janine and Hanin have prepared December special just for you! This informal session will be organized as follows:
1. Janine Freeston: "Women Making Color Photographs" (15 minutes)

Tuesday, December 20, 2022 2:00 pm EST

The working group will not meet this month.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022 6:00 pm EST

Hannah Conway, Harvard University, “Petroleum Sovereignty: Native Land & Life at the End of Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin
since 1927”

Wednesday, December 21, 2022 10:00 am EST

In this session, we will read Michael J. Apter's “Cybernetics: A Case Study of a Scientific Subject-Complex” (1970) and Alexander Soytek's “Foucault’s Reception of the Information Discourse, 1948-1971.”

Wednesday, January 4, 2023 12:00 pm EST

No session will be held this week. Happy New Year!

Thursday, January 5, 2023 12:00 pm EST

Join us for a conversation with historian of medicine Christina Ramos about her newly published book Bedlam in the New World: A Mexican Madhouse in the Age of Enlightenment.
Adam Warren, University of Washington 
Elizabeth O'Brien, John Hopkins University 
Introduction available at

Friday, January 6, 2023 2:30 pm EST

"Bringing the History of Mathematics Home: Entangled Practices of Domesticity, Gender, and Mathematical Work"
David E. Dunning and Brigitte Stenhouse

Wednesday, January 11, 2023 12:00 pm EST

Justin Madron, University of Richmond
Abstract: TBD. Check back a week or two before the meeting date to access the pre-circulated paper and Zoom link.

Thursday, January 12, 2023 1:00 pm EST
  • Presenter 1: Francisco G. Tijerina Martínez, Washington University at St. Louis, "From the Cosmopolitan to the Planetary: Ecological Aesthetics in Contemporary Mexican Haikus"
Friday, January 13, 2023 1:30 pm EST
  • Ritam Sengupta, “The Laws of Electricity and the Laws of Men: Governing technical conduct in colonial India.”
  • Matthew Shutzer, “Machines of Development: Ecology and Energy at the End of Empire.”
Monday, January 16, 2023 10:00 am EST

Speaker: Dr Andrey Klebanov
Title: TBA

Tuesday, January 17, 2023 11:00 am EST

Whether Mechanical Mimesis: A Sensitometric look at Colour Photography in the 19th century.
Presenter: Rahul Sharma
Rahul Sharma is a graduate of the program in photograph conservation from University of Amsterdam, and the conservation program of the National Museum Institute, New Delhi, specializing in technical imaging. In addition to his conservation practice, Sharma is a practicing darkroom printer. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2023 2:00 pm EST

Lino Camprubí, Universidad de Sevilla

Friday, January 20, 2023 12:00 pm EST

Reproductive Justice

Friday, January 27, 2023 12:00 pm EST

Marjan Wardaki (Yale), "The Birth of Modern ‘ilm : Between Indo-German Theosophy and Islamicate Philosophy"

Thursday, February 2, 2023 12:00 pm EST

History of Informatics in Latin America. Marcelo Vianna, Lucas de Almeida Pereira & Colette Perold

Friday, February 3, 2023 12:00 pm EST

Nuala Caomhanach (New York University), "From Unique to Ubiquitous: The Conflict of Endemism in Conservation Law"

Friday, February 3, 2023 2:30 pm EST

"The Lovely Bones: Dissection, Aesthetics, and Desire in Japan, 1879-1930"
Kandra Polatis

Tuesday, February 7, 2023 11:00 am EST

Cholera in Late Ottoman Provincial Capital, Damascus - Benan Grams (Georgetown University, Washington DC.)

Wednesday, February 8, 2023 12:00 pm EST

Lauren Tilton and Taylor Arnold, University of Richmond
Abstract: TBD. Check back a week or two before the meeting date to access the pre-circulated paper and Zoom link.

Thursday, February 9, 2023 1:00 pm EST
  • 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, 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”

Friday, February 17, 2023 12:00 pm EST

Guest: Jorge Quetzal Argueta Prado, México. [Still to be confirmed]
Title of the presentation: The title will be announced soon.
Reading: Text will be attached soon.

Monday, February 20, 2023 10:00 am EST

Speaker: Anthony Cerulli, Professor of South Asian Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Topic:  Prof. Cerulli will introduce his 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"

Friday, February 24, 2023 12:00 pm EST

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

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

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 1:00 pm EST
  • Presenter: Mónica Salas Landa, Lafayette College, "A Postcard View of Progress: Pemex Propaganda Apparatus and the Aesthetics of Mexico’s Technological Nationalism"
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

Monday, March 20, 2023 10:00 am EDT

SpeakerDr Vitus Angermeier, PI at the FWF Project "Epidemics and Crisis Management in Pre-modern South Asia", University of Vienna
Topic:  A contagion theory in the Hārītasaṃhita? The chapter on upasarga.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023 2:00 pm EDT

Nancy Ko, Columbia University

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)

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 1:00 pm EDT
  • Vanessa Freije, University of Washington, "UFO, Aliens, and other Imaginaries of Satellite Technology in Hidalgo, Mexico”
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)"

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)

Thursday, May 4, 2023 12:00 pm EDT


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: Leida Fernandez
  • Presenter: Sonia Robles
  • Discussant: Mónica Salas Landa
  • Moderator: Diana Montaño
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

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 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 1:30 pm EDT

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