Working Groups

Active 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"

Upcoming Meetings

Please set your timezone.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021 2:00 pm EDT

Judy Johns Schloegel, Independent Scholar, "Instituting Biology in the Great Lakes: Scientific Survey Work and Inland Seas Maritime Culture, 1893-1903."

Tuesday, October 19, 2021 4:00 pm EDT

Aparna Nair (Assistant Professor, History of Science, University of Oklahoma-Norman), "Paper Trails and Poxes: A Global History of Vaccination Certificates and Passports"
Comment by Sanjoy Bhattacharya (Professor in the History of Medicine, Director of the Centre for Global Health Histories, and Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Global Health Histories, University of York)

Tuesday, October 19, 2021 6:00 pm EDT

Sam Schirvar, University of Pennsylvania
"The Politics of Stress: Human Factors Engineering, Occupational Health, and Air Traffic Control, 1968-1981"

Wednesday, October 20, 2021 10:00 am EDT

In this session, we will read Peter Decherney's “The Museum of Modern Art and the Roots of the Cultural Cold War” (2005) and Nathaniel Brennan's “Content Analysis, Inc.: Producing and Managing Cultural Intelligence at the Museum of Modern Art.”

Friday, October 22, 2021 10:00 am EDT

Yang Li (Princeton University), "Antibiotics, Atomic Bomb, and the Nationalization of Scientific Expertise in Early Socialist China, 1949-1966"

Friday, October 22, 2021 1:00 pm EDT

Applied Historical Methods for Environmental Health Justice 

Monday, October 25, 2021 11:00 am EDT

Edna Bonhomme,  Title TBA

Tuesday, October 26, 2021 2:00 pm EDT

Evan Hepler-Smith, Duke University, "Handbook chemistry" from his ms. Compound Words: Chemical Information and the Molecular World, on the 19th century emergence of the chemical handbook and the chemical abstract journal.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021 3:00 pm EDT

"Theodosius Dobzhansky e os brasileiros"
Aldo Mellender de Araújo (Instituto de Biociências - UFRGS)

Thursday, October 28, 2021 11:00 am EDT

Gift-giving and Knowledge Exchange in Elite Medical Manuscripts
Prof Faith Willis

Thursday, October 28, 2021 1:00 pm EDT

Diana Montaño, Washington University in St. Louis, "Development is Modernity + Rural Electrification: The Aesthetic of Latin American Electricscapes"
Daniel Rebouças, Universidade Federal da Bahia Brasil, “Aesthetics of Electricity in Bahia”

Tuesday, November 2, 2021 11:00 am EDT

Duygu Yildirim, The Life and Times of Hayatizade Mustafa Feyzi (d. 1692): Anxieties of Religious Conversion and Medical Translation

Wednesday, November 3, 2021 12:00 pm EDT

This session, led by Elizabeth Ferry and Les Field, will consider past and present perspectives in the anthropology of value with special attention paid to the study of gold. Please find the list of readings below and all readings either hyperlinked or in the zip file. 
Main Readings: 

Wednesday, November 3, 2021 6:00 pm EDT

Jaimie Murdock, Sandia National Laboratories

Friday, November 5, 2021 12:00 pm EDT

Jesse Smith, Science History Institute: TBA

Friday, November 5, 2021 1:30 pm EDT

Ashoka Vardhan, “Mining the Landscapes: Coal in Hyderabad State, c. 1871-1890.”
Lorena Campuzano Duque, “Sick Mining Landscapes and the Quest of Healthy Miners,

Friday, November 5, 2021 1:30 pm EDT

*Please note special date and time.*
Ashoka Vardhan, “Mining the Landscapes: Coal in Hyderabad State, c. 1871-1890.”
Lorena Campuzano Duque, “Sick Mining Landscapes and the Quest of Healthy Miners, 1930-1958.”
This is a joint meeting with the Energy History Working Group.

Monday, November 8, 2021 9:00 am EST

In this meeting, we are going to discuss:

Anne Gerritsen  author. The City of Blue and White: Chinese Porcelain and the Early Modern World. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2020. Chapter Nine.
Hodder, Ian. Entangled: An Archaeology of the Relationships between Humans and Things. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012. Chapter Five.


Wednesday, November 10, 2021 12:00 pm EST

Yijie Huang, "The pluralism of mechanism and the emergence of a pulse clocklike in late seventeenth-century England"

Wednesday, November 10, 2021 6:30 pm EST

Rouse, Articulating the World, Ch. 7-8 (Ch. 6 optional)

Thursday, November 11, 2021 10:00 am EST

Elaine Ayers (New York University): Packed in Moss: Bryology and the Circulation of Plants in Nineteenth-Century Colonial Natural History

Friday, November 12, 2021 1:00 pm EST

Guest: Dr. David Suisman (History, University of Delaware)
Reading TBA.
Guest sessions are (loosely) moderated, please reach out if you'd like to be in that role.
We'll briefly introduce the guest, begin with introductory remarks on the reading, and then discuss participants' questions.
All are welcome.

Friday, November 12, 2021 4:00 pm EST

Preston McBride (Postdoctoral Fellow, Humanities and the University of the Future, University of Southern California), “Tuberculosis at Chemawa”
Comment by Christian W. McMillen, Professor of History and Associate Dean for the Social Sciences, University of Virginia

Monday, November 15, 2021 10:00 am EST

Jacob Schmidt-Madsen, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Copenhagen (URL)
Phañjikā: An Early Cruciform Game at a Late Medieval Indian Court

Tuesday, November 16, 2021 2:00 pm EST

Aviroop Sengupta, Columbia University, "The Zoological Survey of India and the quest for an 'indigenous' science of life."

Tuesday, November 16, 2021 4:00 pm EST

Elise A. Mitchell (PhD candidate in History, New York University), TBA
Comment by TBA

Tuesday, November 16, 2021 6:00 pm EST

Madeline Williams, Harvard University
"Technological Ableism and Typewriters in United States History, 1843-1892"

Wednesday, November 17, 2021 12:00 pm EST

November 17, 2021 - “Psiquiatria Genética na Eugenia alemã e no Brasil” - Pedro Muñoz (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro)

Friday, November 19, 2021 12:00 pm EST

Marco Tamborini, Institute of Philosophy, Technical University of Darmstadt, ch. from ms. The Architecture of Evolution: The Science of Form in Twentieth-Century Evolutionary Biology.

Friday, November 19, 2021 1:00 pm EST

Historical Methods in Sustainable Design and Architecture  

Monday, November 22, 2021 11:00 am EST

Mirjam Brusius (German Historical Institute London), Title TBA

Tuesday, November 23, 2021 2:00 pm EST

Gustave Lester, PhD. Candidate, Harvard University.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021 6:00 pm EST

Anna Guerrero, Marine Biological Laboratory and American Philosophical Society

Friday, December 3, 2021 12:00 pm EST

Maura C. Flannery, Professor Emerita, St. John's University, NY/Research Associate, A.C. Moore Herbarium, University of South Carolina, Columbia:  "Can Digital Collections Bridge the Gap between the Humanities and Science?"

Friday, December 3, 2021 1:30 pm EST

Covell Meyskens, “Building a Hydraulic Engine for Mao’s China in the Three Gorges
Daniella Russ, “Energy Balances and the Politics of Oil Substitution.”

Friday, December 3, 2021 3:30 pm EST

Richard Tait, “Doctors in Society: 15th Century Italy" Thesis Chapter. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2021 12:00 pm EST

Melissa B. Reynolds, "The Past and Future in Print" 

Wednesday, December 8, 2021 6:30 pm EST

Rouse, Articulating the World, Ch. 9-10 (Ch. 11, epilogue optional)

Thursday, December 9, 2021 10:00 am EST

West Africa Session:
Amanda Logan (Northwestern University): tba
Chioma Ngonadi (University of Nigeria, Nsukka/University of Cambridge): Ancient Food Practices and Pottery Production in Southeastern Nigeria
Orijemie Emuobosa Akpo (University of Ibadan): Late Quaternary Landscape Changes and Plant Food Production Strategies in the Rainforests of West-Central Africa

Friday, December 10, 2021 1:00 pm EST

Guest Visit: Dr. Viktoria Tkaczyk (Humboldt University)
Reading TBA
Guest sessions are moderated.
We'll briefly introduce the visitor, begin with introductory remarks on the reading, then discuss participants' questions as well as topics of interest to the visitor as appropriate.
All are welcome!

Friday, December 17, 2021 12:00 pm EST

Alexis L. Boylan, Department of Art History, University of Connecticut, ch. from ms. on the art of the American Natural History Museum in New York.

Friday, December 17, 2021 1:00 pm EST

Relating Environmental Conservation and Historic Preservation 

Monday, December 20, 2021 10:00 am EST

Prof. Dominik Wujastyk, University of Alberta
Title: New findings from the Suśruta Project

Tuesday, December 21, 2021 4:00 pm EST

Don James McLaughlin (Assistant Professor of English, University of Tulsa) “The Muzzle: An Object Biography” 
Comment by Cindy Patton (Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, Simon Fraser University) 

Tuesday, December 21, 2021 6:00 pm EST

Ryan Hearty, Johns Hopkins University
"Monitoring Water Quality in US Rivers in the 1950 and 1960s: information, communication, and applied sciences"

Friday, January 7, 2022 1:30 pm EST

Victor McFarland, “Breaking the Earth: The Story of Nuclear Fracking.”
Brian Leech, “The Fastest Limit in the West: Energy, Safety, and the American West’s Fight against the National Maximum Speed Limit in the 1970s and 1980s.”

Thursday, January 13, 2022 10:00 am EST

Lidia Ponce de la Vega (McGill University): The Travel Stories of Plants in the "Biodiversity Heritage Library": Colonization and (In)Visibility of the Global South in Human-Plants Relationships

Friday, January 14, 2022 11:00 am EST

Launch of working group and informal networking session

Monday, January 17, 2022 10:00 am EST

Madhusudan Rimal, PhD student, University of Alberta will present a selected research paper and chair discussion of its contribution to the historical understanding of science in early South Asia.  Paper details TBA.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022 2:00 pm EST

Madgalena Grüner, Universität Hamburg.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022 6:00 pm EST

Luis Felipe Eguiarte Souza, University of Minnesota
"Julian Huxley: 'If I were a dictator', Technocracy in his popular writing and science fiction"

Tuesday, January 25, 2022 2:00 pm EST

Erika Milam, Princeton University

Thursday, January 27, 2022 1:00 pm EST

David Dalton, UNC Charlotte, “Eduardo Urzaiz's novel, Eugenia and the Interface of aesthetics and science in constructing eugenics in postrevolutionary Mexico”
Lucas Izquierdo, University of Central Florida, “Novel as technology: 19th and 20th century Peru”

Friday, January 28, 2022 12:00 pm EST

Nicole Barnes (Duke University), "On Soil and Sustainability, Or, Who Cares about Shit?"

Friday, January 28, 2022 1:00 pm EST

Historical Baselines to Inform Species Protection and Environmental Conservation

Wednesday, February 2, 2022 6:00 pm EST

E. Thomas Ewing, Virginia Tech

Friday, February 4, 2022 12:00 pm EST

Katherine McLeod, New York University: "How to Display a Hoatzin: Ecology, Eugenics, and Zoology in the Early 20th Century United States"

Friday, February 4, 2022 1:30 pm EST

Ryan Jobson, “As a fire runs up a forest”: Counter-plantation futures and the Trinidad oil
strike of 1937.”

Friday, February 4, 2022 3:30 pm EST

Kirsten Moore, “Building Markets, Saving Lives: Insecticide-Treated Nets and a New Approach to Global Malarial Control.” 

Thursday, February 10, 2022 10:00 am EST

Sarah Longair (University of Lincoln): The Coco-de-Mer in the 19th-Century Indian Ocean World: Connections, Conservation and Colonialism

Friday, February 11, 2022 11:00 am EST


Friday, February 11, 2022 1:00 pm EST

Guest: Dr. Alexandra Hui (Mississippi State University, Department of History)
Reading TBA
Guest sessions are moderated.
We'll briefly introduce the visitor, begin with opening remarks on the reading, then discuss participants' questions as well as topics of interest to the visitor as appropriate.
All are welcome!

Tuesday, February 15, 2022 2:00 pm EST

Beatriz Martínez-Rius, Sorbonne Université.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022 6:00 pm EST

Claire Mayo, University of Tennessee
"Nineteenth Century Envirotechnical Regimes and the Great Flood of 1910: How Competing Ideas of Water Management Structured the Disaster"

Monday, February 21, 2022 10:00 am EST

Philipp A. Maas, Research Associate, University of Leipzig (URL)
Topic: TBA

Tuesday, February 22, 2022 2:00 pm EST

Taylor Moore, University of California, Santa Barbara

Thursday, February 24, 2022 1:00 pm EST

Fabián Prieto-Nanez, Virginia Tech, “Taste, class, and popular design of technical devices in Bogota, Colombia”
Sonia Robles, University of Delaware, “Blueprints for Modernity: Public radio programming in Mexico”

Friday, February 25, 2022 12:00 pm EST

Hasan Umut (PhD, McGill University), "The Confessional Turn in Early Modern Ottoman Cosmology" 

Friday, March 4, 2022 12:00 pm EST

Andrea Marshall, Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies: "Zines as Nonbinary Objects and Questions of Privilege"

Friday, March 4, 2022 1:30 pm EST

Baasit Abubakr, “Currents of the Empire in South Asia: A History of Colonial Electrification in Jammu and Kashmir 1900-1947.”
Gina Surita, “The Mysterious Muscle Machine, 1900–1930.”

Friday, March 4, 2022 3:30 pm EST

Patricio Simonetto, “The Body Where I was Born in: Embodiment Repertoires During the Sex Change Transition.” 

Thursday, March 10, 2022 10:00 am EST

Aqsa Mengal (Lahore University), Dania Nasir (Lahore University), Kulsoom Din Malik (Lahore University) and Moiz Abdul Majid (Tufts University UEP): Nature in the City: Memory, Scandal and Leisure in Lahore's Urban Parks

Friday, March 11, 2022 11:00 am EST


Tuesday, March 15, 2022 2:00 pm EDT

Alison Glassie, Mahindra Humanities Center, Harvard University.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022 6:00 pm EDT

Liat Spiro, College of the Holy Cross
"Patentability and Experience: Work, Class, and Risk in the Political Economy of Intellectual Property in Imperial Germany"

Monday, March 21, 2022 10:00 am EDT

Cristina Pecchia, Austrian Academy of Sciences (URL)
Topic: TBA

Tuesday, March 22, 2022 2:00 pm EDT

Cyrus Mody, Maastricht University

Thursday, March 24, 2022 1:00 pm EDT

Mónica Salas Landa, Lafayette College, “Aesthetics of Oil Development in Mexico”
Peter Soland, Southeast Missouri State University, "Aerial Shots and Bomber Jackets: The Role of Aviation, Celebrity, and Cinema in Re-Imagining Latin America" 

Friday, March 25, 2022 1:00 pm EDT

Histories of Disease Control and African Universal Health Coverage 

Friday, April 1, 2022 12:00 pm EDT

Katherine Arnold, London School of Economics: "Interpreting the Collector's Logic: The Pursuit of Desiderata in Early Nineteenth-Century Southern Africa"

Friday, April 1, 2022 1:30 pm EDT

Jarrod Hore, “Reinventing a Supercontinent: Towards an Energy History of Gondwanaland.”
Sarah Stanford-McIntyre, “Data Driven: Clerical Work, Geophysics, and the Rise of Computing in the American Oil Industry.”

Wednesday, April 6, 2022 6:00 pm EDT

Molly Nebiolo, Northeastern University

Friday, April 8, 2022 11:00 am EDT


Friday, April 8, 2022 1:00 pm EDT

Guest: Dr. Peter Sachs Collopy (personal website)
Reading TBA
Guest sessions are moderated.
We'll briefly introduce the visitor, begin with introductory remarks on the reading, then discuss participants' questions as well as topics of interest to the visitor as appropriate.
All are welcome!

Thursday, April 14, 2022 10:00 am EDT

Cecylia Mgombele (University of Dar es Salaam), Sinyati Robinson Mark (University of Dar es Salaam) and Sarah Walshaw (Simon Fraser University): Human-Plant Relationships in Tanzania's Past: Changes, Choices, Challenges - and Specifically the Changes Brought with the Caravan Trade

Monday, April 18, 2022 10:00 am EDT

Eric Gurevitch, PhD candidate
South Asian Languages and Civilizations and
Committee on Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science
University of Chicago
Title: Diseases of the eye: Debating the physiology of vision across medicine and philosophy in medieval India

Tuesday, April 19, 2022 6:00 pm EDT

Evan Hepler-Smith, Duke University
"Chemical ciphers: war and peace"

Tuesday, April 26, 2022 2:00 pm EDT

Patricia Marcos, Doctoral Candidate, University of California, San Diego

Thursday, April 28, 2022 1:00 pm EDT

Lucas Erichsen, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro), "Under the Sun, between tropics: meat preservation technology in late 19th century Brazil"
Marisa Lerer, Manhattan College, “Technology and Memorial Design in the Southern Cone”

Friday, April 29, 2022 12:00 pm EDT

Energy History in Asia: Book Discussion

Victor Seow, Carbon Technocracy: Energy Regimes in Modern East Asia (University of Chicago Press, 2021)

On Barak, Powering Empire: How Coal Made the Middle East and Sparked Global Carbonization (University of California Press, 2020) 

Friday, May 6, 2022 1:30 pm EDT

Michaela Rife, “Capturing Petroleum Publics: The Visual Culture of Oil on the Dust Bowl Plains.”
Jordan Howell, Capital Be Dammed: Alcoa and the History of Hydroelectric Power in North America, 1890-1950.”

Thursday, May 12, 2022 10:00 am EDT

Anna Arabindan-Kesson (Princeton University) in conversation with Annalee Davis: Sites of Healing: Plantation Histories and Histories of Care in the Work of Annalee Davis

Friday, May 13, 2022 11:00 am EDT


Friday, May 13, 2022 1:00 pm EDT

Guest visit: Dr. Mara Mills (Media, Culture and Communication, NYU / personal website)
Reading TBA
Guest sessions are moderated.
We'll briefly introduce the visitor, begin with introductory remarks on the reading, then discuss participants' questions as well as topics of interest to the visitor as appropriate.
All are welcome.

Monday, May 16, 2022 10:00 am EDT

Madhu K. Parameswaran, Assistant Professor, Department of Dravyagunavijnanam, Vaidyaratnam P.S. Varier Ayurveda College (URL)
Topic: TBA

Tuesday, May 17, 2022 6:00 pm EDT

Thomas Zeller, University of Maryland, College Park
"Consuming Landscapes: What We See When We Drive and Why It Matters"

Thursday, May 26, 2022 1:00 pm EDT

David Pretel, Pompeu Fabra University, “Green Gold Modernity: Machines, Peonage and Henequen in Yucatan’s Gilded Age”
Leida Fernandez-Prieto, Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales - Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, “Mute Witnesses:  Mapping the Meanings of the Images on the History of Cuban Agriculture”

Friday, May 27, 2022 12:00 pm EDT

Sayori Ghoshal (Columbia University), "Race in Nationalist Science: Making Anthropology an Indian Discipline through the Question of Origin, 1920-1950"

Thursday, June 9, 2022 10:00 am EDT

Melanie Boehi (University of the Witwatersrand), Phakamani m’Africa Xaba (Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden), and Luciano Concheiro San Vicente (The National Autonomous University of Mexico): Reimagining Botanical Gardens and Urban Parks in a Time of Crisis

Friday, June 10, 2022 11:00 am EDT


Thursday, June 23, 2022 1:00 pm EDT

Agenda (Updated 9/5/21)
Final Session: Thursday, 6/23/22, 1:00pm-2:30pm EDT

  • Meeting with volume editor. 
  • Discussion of Next Steps 


Friday, June 24, 2022 12:00 pm EDT

Elise Burton (University of Toronto), "A Lexicon of Science"

Thursday, July 14, 2022 10:00 am EDT

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

Friday, September 9, 2022 11:00 am EDT


Friday, October 14, 2022 11:00 am EDT


Friday, November 11, 2022 11:00 am EST


Friday, December 9, 2022 11:00 am EST