Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Constructing Scientific Communities Science, Medicine and Culture in the Nineteenth Century Seminars in Trinity Term 2018

Posted: 16 Apr 2018 04:13 AM PDT tringquaggaMonday 7 May 2018 (Week 3) Professor Harriet Ritvo, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Gone but not Forgotten: Coming to Grips with Extinction 5.30—7.00, Seminar Room 3, St Anne’s College Extinction is a timely and controversial topic now, as it has been for centuries. That is not, of course, to say that the focus of contention has remained constant. At first the main question, couched at least as much in theological as in scientific terms (that is, in terms resonant with later debates about evolution), was whether it could happen. Localized anthropogenic extinctions, most famously that of the dodo, were noticed by European travelers in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (the intentional extermination of undesirable animals like wolves at home did not figure in such debates). The dwindling and disappearance of more populous and widespread species, including the passenger pigeon, the quagga, and (nearly) the American bison, in the nineteenth century sparked a different kind of concern among the overlapping communities of hunters, naturalists, and conservationists, which helped to inspire the earliest national parks and wildlife reserves. Tuesday 22 May 2018 (Week 5) Dr Carolyn Burdett, Birkbeck, University of London 5.30—7.00, Seminar Room 3, St Anne’s College Tuesday 5 June 2018 (Week 7) Dr Manon Mathias, University of Glasgow ‘What is health? It is chocolate!’: Chocolate, medicine, and writing in nineteenth-century France 5.30—7.00, Seminar Room 3, St Anne’s College Although France’s role in the development of chocolate from an Early Modern luxury to a popular product has been noted, nowhere has the French engagement with chocolate as medicine been examined in any depth. Moreover, the numerous literary engagements with this product in nineteenth-century novels remain unexplored. Taking up the call issued by the Chocolate History Project (UC Davis) for more research on chocolate in literature and in cookbooks, this paper will examine references to chocolate in scientific and medical texts from the period but also in gastronomic texts and novels to see to what extent principles regarding chocolate reached beyond the medical field, and also to reveal the rich and complex relations between chocolate and language. Drinks will be served after each seminar. All welcome, no booking required.