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, September 27, 2022 2:00 pm EDT

Christopher Jones (Arizona State Unversity) will lead the group in a discussion of the introduction to his upcoming work. The chapter, titled "The Invention of Infinite Growth," considers how the concept of infinite economic growth has shaped political thinking in the US and how it has exacerbated some of the most daunting ecological challenges associated with the anthropocene. We look forward to a lively conversation on this timely matter!

Monday, October 3, 2022 11:30 am EDT

Jeremy Vetter (University of Arizona), one of the working group's co-conveners, will discuss one of his ongoing projects, Agate: The Biography of a Scientific Field Site, building on previous journal articles to explain how he is working to turn it into a book, and to reconceptualize it in the process. This will serve as an opening example of our intended theme for this academic year in this working group -- "Small Stories with Big Significance" -- and we will also discuss this theme in more general terms.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022 12:00 pm EDT

Staffan Müller-Wille joins us from the University of Cambridge’s Department for History and Philosophy of Science to workshop his forthcoming paper, “Race and Kinship: Anthropology and the ‘Genealogical Method.’”
“Race and Kinship: Anthropology and the ‘Genealogical Method’”

Thursday, October 6, 2022 12:00 pm EDT

Presenter: Jaime Larry Benchimol, Researcher, Casa de Oswaldo Cruz – Fundação Oswaldo Cruz
"The history of the New World leishmaniases from a Brazilian perspective"

Friday, October 7, 2022 10:00 am EDT

Francesca Bray, "Translating the Art of Tea: Naturalizing Chinese Savoir Faire in British Assam," in Pamela Smith ed., Entangled Itineraries: Materials, Practices, and Knowledges across Eurasia (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019), 99-137.
Kyoungjin Bae, "Export Furniture and Artisanal Translation in Eighteenth-Century Canton," Isis 113.2 (June 2022): 310-330.

Friday, October 7, 2022 2:30 pm EDT

“Women work particularly well in community organizations”: Cultivating Community and Consumerism in the Comanche County REA Women’s Club, 1939-1940
Victoria Plutshack, Ashton Merck, & Jonathon Free 

Wednesday, October 12, 2022 9:30 am EDT

Weyl's (1918) Gravitation and Electricity (German origin; searchable English version).   

Wednesday, October 12, 2022 12:00 pm EDT

Ted Underwood, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Prof. Underwood has graciously agreed to pre-circulate his recent co-authored paper, "Cohort Succession Explains Most Change in Literary Culture." which was published in Sociological Science earlier this year. 

Thursday, October 13, 2022 1:00 pm EDT

Thursday, 10/13/22, 1:00pm-2:30pm EDT 

  • Presenter--Lucas Erichsen, Instituto Nacional da Mata Atlântica - Brasil. Places for a first and last look: slaughterhouses, aesthetics, and technology in 19th Brazil.
  • Moderator: Yovanna Pineda 
Friday, October 14, 2022 11:00 am EDT

Lavinia Maddaluno (Ca’ Foscari, University of Venice)
“Water Management and Public Health in Spanish Milan”
Comment by Valentina Pugliano (MIT)

Monday, October 17, 2022 10:00 am EDT

Speaker: Dr Charu Singh, Dept. of History, Stanford University (from January 2023: Assistant Professor, Dept. History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge)
Title: When science became vijñāna: Redescriptions of knowledge in colonial north India, 1915–1935.
See attached paper.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022 11:00 am EDT

Tuesday, October 18, 2022 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm BST
Researching Color Photography in the 19th & early 20th Century Today: Reflections on History, Science, and Materiality
Presenters: Catlin Langford 
Please refer to the resource section for reading material. 
Autochromes and Representation

Tuesday, October 18, 2022 2:00 pm EDT

Urna Mukherjee, Johns Hopkins University.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022 6:00 pm EDT

James Esposito, Ohio State University
"Canaries, Camouflets, and Carbon Monoxide: 'Proto Man' and Oxygen Breathing Apparatus in Britain’s Tunneling War 1915-1918"

Thursday, October 20, 2022 11:30 am EDT

we'll be discussing Cecchetto, David. Listening in the Afterlife of Data: Aesthetics, Pragmatics, and Incommunication.

Friday, October 21, 2022 12:00 pm EDT

Pamela Block (Stony Brook University, New York, US)
Richard Scotch (University of Texas at Dallas, US)
Allison C. Carey (Shippensburg University, PA, US)
Title of the presentation: "Allies and Obstacles: Disability Activism and Parents of Children with Disabilities"

Friday, October 21, 2022 12:00 pm EDT

‘Applied Medical History:’ Taking Stock

Friday, October 28, 2022 12:00 pm EDT

Book Discussion: Buddhism and Medicine Across Asia
Pierce Salguero, A Global History of Buddhism and Medicine (Columbia University Press, 2021).
Discussant: Anthony Cerulli (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Friday, November 4, 2022 12:00 pm EDT

Tad Brown (University of Cambridge), “Peanut Traces: Collecting Arachis from the Telegraph Line in Brazil”

Monday, November 7, 2022 11:30 am EST

"'A Great Responsibility': Biodiversity Crisis in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew"
Isobel Akerman, Cambridge University
This paper examines the integration of biodiversity crisis into the research, governance, and outreach of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. It explores the environmental, political, and institutional context of Kew in the late 1980s and 1990s, and uses Kew’s 1998 public exhibition ‘Plants + People’ as a case study to question how and why environmental knowledge was made to move between a relatively small group of botanists and a wider cohort of publics.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022 9:30 am EST

Kaluza-Klein Theory

Wednesday, November 9, 2022 12:00 pm EST

Jennifer Guiliano, IUPUI
Abstract: TBD. Check back a week or two before the meeting date to access the pre-circulated paper and Zoom link.

Thursday, November 10, 2022 1:00 pm EST

Thursday, 11/10/22 

  • Presenter: Yovanna Pineda, University of Central Florida, "Bodies of Machines: The Aesthetics of Humans and Farm Machinery in Twentieth Century Argentina"
  • Discussant & Moderator: Diana J. Montano
Friday, November 11, 2022 11:00 am EST

Ben Breen (University of California, Santa Cruz)
"Colonial Magic and Spaces of Healing in the Seventeenth Century"
Comment by Philippa Carter (University of Cambridge)

Tuesday, November 15, 2022 11:00 am EST

Prokudin-Gorskii’s technique of colour photography: colour separation, additive projection and pigment printing
Presenter: Nadezhda Stanulevich

Tuesday, November 15, 2022 2:00 pm EST

Samantha Muka, Stevens Institute of Technology

Tuesday, November 15, 2022 6:00 pm EST

SHOT: directions and themes in an ever-growing field: discussion led by Ben Gross, Linda Hall Library.

Thursday, November 17, 2022 11:30 am EST

We'll be discussing

McKittrick, Katherine. 2014. “Mathematics Black Life.” The Black Scholar 44 (2): 16–28.


Friday, November 18, 2022 12:00 pm EST

Guest: Thomas F. Glick, Professor of History, Emeritus, at Boston University, US. 
Personal website:
Title of the presentation: "Darwin and Darwinism in Uruguay”
Reading: Text will be attached soon.

Friday, November 18, 2022 12:00 pm EST

Emerging Priorities in Applied Medical History

Monday, November 21, 2022 10:00 am EST

Speaker: Lucy May Constantini
Title: Understanding Text in Relation to the Embodied Practice of Kaḷarippayaṟṟ˘: investigating alternative methodologies

Friday, December 2, 2022 12:00 pm EST

Garrett Dash Nelson (President and Head Curator, Leventhal Map and Education Center, Boston Public Library) “More or Less in Common: Environmental Justice in the Urban Landscape”

Friday, December 2, 2022 2:30 pm EST

"The Sexual Politics of Pesticides"
Melinda Packer

Thursday, December 8, 2022 1:00 pm EST
  • Presenter: Diana Montaño, Washington University in St. Louis, "Set-in-Stone Technologies: Metate & Gender in Twentieth Century Mexico"
  • Moderator: Yovanna Pineda
Friday, December 9, 2022 11:00 am EST

Meredith Gamer (Columbia University)
“William Hunter's Bedside Manner”
Comment by Mary Fissell (John Hopkins University)

Wednesday, December 14, 2022 12:00 pm EST


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 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.

Friday, December 16, 2022 12:00 pm EST

Teaching History of Medicine to Future and Current Medical Professionals

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 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”

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: Francisco G. Tijerina Martínez, Washington University, St. Louis, From the Cosmopolitan to the Planetary: Ecological Aesthetics in Contemporary Mexican Haikus

Monday, January 16, 2023 10:00 am EST

Speaker: Dr Andrey Klebanov
Title: TBA

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"

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

February 9 - Second Round

  • Presenter 1: Dafne Cruz Porchini 
  • Presenter 2: Pete Soland
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

Friday, March 3, 2023 12:00 pm EST

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

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"
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)

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

Lydia Pyne, "How A Clay Becomes A Pigment: Ochrescapes from Blombos”

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.

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

Animal history

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

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
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, 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: TBA