Conference: Electricity and Life

///Conference: Electricity and Life

Conference: Electricity and Life

Conference Electricity & Life. Historical Perspectives, 18th-20th c.

November Thursday 23 – Friday 24, 2006

Cité des sciences et de l’industrie, Paris Organised by Christine Blondel, Anne Rasmussen, Yves Bouvier Sponsored by the EDF Foundation Informations:

Thursday 23 November 2006

9h30 Christine Blondel, Anne Rasmussen, Introduction

9h45 Session 1: L’ÉLECTRICITÉ ET LES ÉTUDES SUR LE VIVANT Président de séance : Robert Fox, Université d’Oxford

Paola Bertucci, Université de Bologne: Revealing sparks. John Wesley and the religious utility of electrical healing

Friedrich Steinle, Université de Wuppertal: Animal electricity from Volta to Du Bois Reymond

11h15 Christopher Lawrence, Wellcome Institute, Londres: Degeneration of the nerve: electricity and the hard and soft sciences of life

14h00 Session 2 : DUCHENNE DE BOULOGNE ET LA GRAMMAIRE DES ÉMOTIONS Présidente de séance : Armelle Debru, Université Paris V

Sandrine Bula, Archives nationales, Paris: Les photographies de Duchenne de Boulogne

Stéphanie Dupouy, École normale supérieure, Paris: Duchenne de Boulogne: l’électrode et l’expérience morale 15h45 François Delaporte, Université de Picardie-Jules Verne: L’invention de l’expression ______________________

Friday 24 November 2006

9h15 Session 3: ÉLECTRICITÉ MÉDICALE ET ÉLECTRICITÉ INDUSTRIELLE Président de séance : François Caron, Université Paris IV

Christine Blondel, CNRS (Centre Alexandre Koyré/ CRHST): Le corps humain à l’épreuve des “machines à guérir” de l’électricité médicale à la fin du XIXe siècle

John Senior, Université d’Oxford: Between medical electricity and electrical engineering: Circumscribing a space for alternative electrical practices

10h45 Iwan Morus, University of Wales (UK): Coils and Cables and Gassiot Cascades, that’s what Electrical Bodies are made of

Paolo Brenni, CNR Florence, Centre Alexandre Koyré / CRHST: An electryfying experience. The use of high voltage and high frequency currents (1890-1930)

14h00 Session 4 : EXPLORER ET SOIGNER LE CERVEAU Président de séance :Georges Vigarello, Université Paris V, EHESS

Anne Rasmussen, CNRS (Centre Alexandre Koyré/ CRHST) / Université Strasbourg 1: “Torpiller”, impressionner et réadapter : pratiques et débats autour de l’électrothérapie en guerre (1914-1920)

Isabelle von Bueltzingsloewen, Université Lyon2: Un fol espoir thérapeutique? La diffusion de l’électrochoc dans les hôpitaux psychiatriques français (1941-1945) 15h45 Cornelius Borck, Université McGill Montréal: Electric Consciousness: Mind and Matter in the Brain’s Potential

This conference deals with the relationship between electricity and life as a field of research situated at the intersection of the history of science, the history of technology, medical history, and cultural history. Since its instauration as a science in the eighteenth century, electricity has offered a number of cognitive resources that have allowed scientists to interpret the phenomena of life. In this context, they have made use of electrical concepts or artefacts in order to elaborate theories or models in the life sciences. Furthermore, every technical innovation used for producing electricity the electrical machine, the Leyden jar, the Voltaic pile, the induction coil, the dynamo, or the high-tension generator was immediately put to use in either experimental physiology, or medical therapeutics, or both. In return, ways of producing and measuring electricity designed for use in experiments on living organisms or medical practice led to a number of innovations applied to other domains of application. Finally, electricity has fed into the popular imaginary concerning the nature of life, and influenced representations of the living body that enjoyed wide dissemination among the public, in particular at the end of the nineteenth century. The study of these multiple facets of electricity that have brought together a great variety of actors requires a cross-disciplinary approach, which has led to its relative neglect, and has meant that a large number of questions have remained unanswered. To what extent is the diversity of research and technologies associated with the production and use of electricity conditioned by local or national cultures? Did the relationship between electricity and life serve to reconfigure the different scientific communities that made use of the same or similar electrical tools? If so, what form did such reconfiguration take? How did the various forms of this relationship take shape in various laboratories, instrument-makers’ workshops, exhibitions, hospitals, spas, doctors’ surgeries, or even private homes? How did certain medical practices, for a long time regarded as pure charlatanism, come to be regarded as legitimate? What are the social and economic implications of the emergence of a market constituted by instruments, therapeutic agents, and other forms of treatment? How did electrical experimentation on living organisms come to transform representations of the human body, be they conceptual reductionism, holism, organicism or cultural and esthetic?

Organised by the Centre de recherche en histoire des sciences et des techniques / Centre Alexandre Koyré (CNRS – Cité des sciences et de l’industrie)

Organisation committee: Christine Blondel, Anne Rasmussen, Yves Bouvier

Scientific committee: Paola Bertucci (Université de Bologne), Christine Blondel (CNRS), Yves Bouvier (Fondation EDF), François Caron (Université Paris IV), Thérèse Charmasson (Archives nationales), Pietro Corsi (Université d’Oxford), Robert Fox (Université d’Oxford), Anne Rasmussen (CNRS – Université de Strasbourg 1), Friedrich Steinle (Université de Wuppertal), Claude Welty (Fondation EDF)

Contact: Sarata Toure, [email protected], tel: 33 (0)1 40 05 75 52

By |2010-12-13T17:20:29+00:00December 13th, 2010|Conferences, Symposia & Workshops|Comments Off on Conference: Electricity and Life

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