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Science Studies Research Workshop – Archive


Spring 2017

Friday, February 17th, 12:00-1:30

306 Clemens Hall

Joseph Conte, Professor of English, UB

“The Future Ain’t What It Used to Be: 1990s Virtual Reality Enters the 21st Century”


Thursday, March 16, 3:30-5:00 pm

306 Clemens Hall

 Giuseppe Gerbino, Professor of Historical Musicology, Columbia University

“Music, Mind, and Soul in the Renaissance”

Co-Sponsored with Early Modern Research Workshop


Thursday, April 20th 4:00-5:00 PM

420 Capen Hall, The UB Poetry Collection

Howard Marchitello, Professor of English, Rutgers University-Camden                                        

“Early Modern Literature and Science 2.0*”

Commentator: James Bono, UB History and Medicine

* This talk is co-sponsored by the Early Modern Research Workshop and part of the EMRW’s conference in celebration of the UB/Shakespeare Folger Library Alliance, to be held on April 20th, in Capen 420 from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM.


Thursday, April 27th, 12:00-1:30 PM

306 Clemens Hall

 Yan Liu, Assistant Professor of History, UB

“From Text to Practice: The Transformation of Medical Knowledge in Medieval China”


Fall 2016

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7th, Noon (306 Clemens Hall)

Valerie Traub, University of Michigan (English and Women’s Studies)

(Ab)normality: A Prehistory (with pre-circulated essay)

This essay is part of a long-term book project Mapping Embodiment in the Early Modern West: A Prehistory of Normality. Rather than develop a genealogy of normality through examples from expository prose, the book focuses on the visual syntax of anatomical illustration, natural histories, and the use of the human figure on maps and atlases. This essay represents an initial attempt to think through the relationship of abnormality to normality in the context of this prehistory. For more on Traub, see: Thanks to the Early Modern Research Workshop and the Queer Studies Research Workshop for co-sponsoring this special event.

FRIDAY AND SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21 and 22 (509 O’Brian Hall)

Gene Editing: Life and Law Beyond the Human

This Baldy Center Conference features some important science studies scholars as well as participation by local UB faculty involved with the Science Studies Research Workshop, including Irus Braverman (Law School, Geography); Josephine Antsey (Media Study), Paul Vanouse (Art), Jim Bono (History, Medical School)

THURSDAY OCTOBER 27th, Burchfield Penny Art Center, 7PM

James Bunn (Emeritus Professor, UB English)

Endless Forms Most Beautiful

Jim will speak at the Burchfield Penney Art Center about the history of UB’s English Department and his talk will culminate in a discussion of his latest book, The Natural Law of Cycles: Governing the Mobile Symmetries of Animals and Machines (2014). The first part of his talk, moreover, will discuss figures like John Eccles, Ludwig von Bertalanffy, and Jacque Monod, and collaborations with Media Study and the Medical School.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11 (Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, 4PM)*

Ruth Mack, Associate Professor, UB English

Captain Cook’s Tools for Ethnography

This talk explores the relation between Cook’s navigational experience on the Endeavour Voyage (1768-71) and the descriptions of societies Cook offered in his journal. How does Cook, the technical navy man, comfortable with terse entries in the captain’s log, come to write in a fashion we might now call “ethnographic”? Mack argues that navigation does not merely accompany but provides the very basis for Cook’s self-conscious and experimental writing about culture. This talk is sponsored by the Scholars@Hallwalls 2016-2017 Lecture Series. For more on Ruth Mack, please see:

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9th at 4PM, Coalesce Center for Biological Art

Paul Vanouse, Professor of Art, Director, Coalesce Center for Biological Art (UB)

Islands of Anomaly in a Sea of Sameness:

Making Pictures with DNA

Paul Vanouse will give a talk followed by a brief tour of Coalesce: Center for Biological Arts. Coalesce is UB’s new hybrid studio laboratory facility dedicated to enabling hands-on creative engagement with the tools and technologies of the life sciences. It is a place where artists, designers and architects actively learn, use and create, using life sciences technologies as their medium; scientists explore new forms or broader cultural meanings of their work; and philosophers, writers and social scientists interact in a tangible way with the processes of the life sciences. However, it is a place where such disciplinary labels are challenged and hybrid creative practices are incubated. This event will be followed by a reception. For more on Paul Vanouse and Coalesce, please see:

Spring 2016

Thursday, February 25, 3-5pm
330 Student Union (UB North Campus)
Laura Mauldin
“Made to Hear: Cochlear Implants and Raising Deaf Children”

Wednesday, March 30, 12pm
830 Clemens Hall
Steve Hoffman, Sociology
“The Shelf Life of a Socio-Technical Disaster: Post-Fukushima Disaster Science and Policy Change in the United States, France, and Germany”

Thursday, March 24, 12-1:30pm
107 Capen Hall
Laura Dassow Walls, University of Notre Dame
“The Planet at the End of the Mind: Natural History in the Anthropocene”

Thursday, March 24, 4-6pm
306 Clemens Hall
Laura Dassow Walls, University of Notre Dame
Seminar Discussion

Friday, April 22, 12-2pm
830 Clemens Hall
Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, Max-Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin
“On Materiality, and Epistemic Objects: Preparations, Models, Simulations”

Fall 2015

Monday, December 7, 12pm
830 Clemens Hall
Susan Cahn, History
“A  ‘Fraternity of Scientists’ and ‘The Intractable Female Patient’:  The Gendering of Borderline Personality Disorder”


Spring 2015

Monday, March 23, 4pm
830 Clemens Hall
Rachel Ablow (UB English Department)
“Becoming Darwin”

Monday, April 6, 5pm
830 Clemens Hall
Bruce Clarke (Paul Whitfield Horn Professor of Literature and Scienceand Chair, Department of English, Texas Tech University)
“Planetary Immunity” Part I: Biopolitics, Gaia Theory, and the Systems Counterculture”

Tuesday, April 7, 3:30pm
830 Clemens Hall
Bruce Clarke (Paul Whitfield Horn Professor of Literature and Scienceand Chair, Department of English, Texas Tech University)
“Planetary Immunity” Part II: “Symbiosis, the Holobiont, and Systemic Resilience”

Among his many books are the following:

Energy Forms: Allegory and Science in the Era of Classical Thermodynamics
<;jsessionid=633B1FC4BF00FAAEF6388406847F9323?id=16450>(University of Michigan Press 2001)

Posthuman Metamorphosis: Narrative and Systems
(Fordham University Press, 2008)

Neocybernetics and Narrative
(University of Minnesota Press, 2014)

Wednesday, April 22, 3:30pm
830 Clemens Hall
David Herzberg (UB History Department)
“Popping Pills: Prescription Drugs, Addiction, and Race in the 20th Century”


Fall 2014

Monday, November 10, 3:30pm
306 Clemens Hall
Sophia Roosth, Harvard University
“The Synthetic Kingdom: Queer Kinship in the Post-Genomic Era”

Monday, November 17, 3:00pm
830 Clemens Hall
Irus Braverman, UB Law School
“The Political Life of Threatened Species Lists”

 Author of /Zooland: The Institution of Captivity/ (Stanford University Press, 2012)

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