The last decade have seen the appearance of a growing body of research pointing toward a increased interest in the role of material culture, material agency and artifactuality¹ inside as well as outside science, technology and medicine studies. One example is art historian W. J. T. Mitchell, main protagonists of the visual turn that supposedly supplanted the linguistic turn in the 1990s, in describing the anthology Things That Talk (2004) as an example of
³advanced research in what might be called the ‘new materialism.’ Unlike the old materialism, which dreamed of a positive science, purified of linguistic accident, ideological prejudice, or fantasy, the new takes aim directly at the figuration and imaging of objects, factoids, and things.²
To explore this potential material turn¹ researchers, curators and doctoral students within history and social studies of science, technology and medicine are invited to participate in a new reading symposium devoted to these new materialisms¹.
It will meet once a month from April until December at a museum or research institution in connection with the University of Aarhus to discuss a book according to the list below. The symposia will take place 12-3pm consisting of an optional brown bag paper presentation with lunch followed by 2 hours of discussion of the reading concluded by an optional tour of the hosting museum/institution. The discussions will be in English or Scandinavian depending on the participants. We expect to be able to be able to pay for the reading materials and lunches for all participants.
We expect to be able to accommodate all interested but if we will have to limit the number of participants we reserve the right to decide who can participate with priority to doctoral students. It is not necessary to attend every meeting to participate but priority will be given to those expressing their intention in following the whole symposium. Those interested in participating should send an email expressing their interest by Monday April 21 to Kristian Hvidtfelt Nielsen, Dept of Science Studies at [email protected]. For the first seminar on Wednesday April 31 the readings will be sent out electronically and for the following meetings participants are requested to purchase books that will be reimbursed against receipts by the end of term.
It is possible for doctoral students to follow the reading group for credit as a 5/7.5 ECTS PhD-course. Students taking the course will be required to attend an additional seminars and for 7.5 ECTS write a longer (20-25 pp) research paper. The conclusion of the PhD course will be concluded with a public symposium where the students present their final papers.
Welcome! Preliminary Schedule
Seminar 1: Wednesday April 30 at the Steno Museum Aarhus Network for Science Technology and Medicine Studies Brown Bag Presentation: Mats Fridlund, University of Aarhus & Medical Museion, ³Matter Matters: New Materialisms and Artifactualities in Science, Technology and Medicine Studies² Readings: Introduction chapters from the following volumes: § Arjun Appadurai, ed., The Social Life of Things (1986) § Daniel Miller, Material Culture and Mass Consumption (1987) § Steven Shapin & Simon Shaffer, Leviathan and the Air-pump (1989) § Bill Brown, ed. Things (2004) § Lorraine Daston, ed., Things That Talk (2004) § Daniel Miller, ed. Materiality (2005) § Chris Tilley, et al, ed., Handbook of Material Culture (2006)
Seminar 2: Wednesday May 14 at Natural History Museum STM-Brown Bag Presentation: Adam Bencard, Medical Museion, KU, ³Affects and Materiality² Reading: Adam Bencard, History in the Flesh: Investigations into the Discursive Figure of the Historicized Body, phd-dissertation, University of Copenhagen (2007)
Seminar 3: Wednesday June 4 at Moesgård Museum Presentation: Half-day contact workshop on Danish materiality studies in connection with DASTS conference Reading: David Edgerton, The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History since 1900 (2007).
— Summer break —
Seminar 4: Wednesday August at the Antikmuseet STM-Brown Bag Presentation: TBD Reading: John Law, Organizing Modernity: Social Order and Social Theory (1994) & John Law, Aircraft Stories: Decentering the Object in Technoscience (2002), selections.
Seminar 5: Wednesday September STM-Brown Bag Presentation: TBD Reading: Chris Tilley, et al, ed., Handbook of Material Culture (2006)
Seminar 6: Wednesday October STM-Brown Bag Presentation: TBD Reading: Peter-Paul Verbeek, What Things Do: Philosophical Reflections on Technology, Agency, and Design (2005)
Seminar 7: Wednesday November STM-Brown Bag Presentation: TBD Reading: Daniel Miller, ed. Materiality (2005)
Seminar 8: Wednesday December STM-Brown Bag Presentation: TBD Reading: Peter Galison, Image and Logic: A Material Culture of Microphysics (1997)