2005-2006 Humanities Institute at Dartmouth College
The 2006 Humanities Institute at Dartmouth College will explore the critical role of visual culture in the pedagogy of medicine and the life sciences over the past 200 years. In weekly meetings, scholars and students participating in this Institute will consider objects, images, various media, architecture, instruments, and machines that have shaped the training of physicians and life scientists, and marked visual experience as a way of learning beyond the written text. Participants will consider how the sense of vision was used in a rang of historical situations to deliver scientific information (knowledge) about "life" to students.
will be in residence as a Senior Fellow associated with this Institute.
Over the past few years she has worked on issues related to scientific
imaging, and, in particular, microscopic images. She completed a dissertation,
Observing Techniques: Images from the Microscopical Life Sciences,
1850-1895, and received her Ph.D in 2002 from the University of Michigan.
The dissertation included a discussion of microscopy manuals and how instructors
presented lessons on the initial transformation of the live, intact organism
into a specimen, or epistemic object, as well as an historical analysis
of drawing as teaching tool in 19th-century courses on microscopy. In
an analysis of the verbal and visual presentations of the animals' often
violent demise in these classrooms she also considered whether aestheticizing
the descriptions of these violent acts was a feasible or desirable strategy.
As a post-doctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the History
of Science in Berlin, she has developed a new project on 20th century
fluorescence light microscopy and electronic imaging techniques. The idea
for this study emerged from an exhibition she curated at the Cantor Center
for the Arts at Stanford University in the summer of 2002. Entitled “Transgenic
Light,”the exhibition highlighted images and videos of cells and
tissue enhanced with Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP), all of which were
the results of collaborations between cell/molecular biologists and digital
artists. The show also included a documentary montage of laboratory GFP
images, and live GFP-enhanced drosophila placed under a microscope and
then displayed on a large plasma screen. This inspired her current interest
in the role of light in microscopy and electronics. Dr. Anderson is now
preparing a history of the coupling of fluorescence light microscopy and
electronic imaging systems from 1945-1995.
Sabine Brauckmann is a Research Fellow at the Konrad Lorentz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research in Vienna. She is currently conducting research on how biologists tried to disclose the morphological enigma of the primitive streak of chick embryos, from the early 1920s to the present, which tools they used to visualized their observations, and how they trained their students to 'observe' the phenomena and to 'imagine' presumptive fate maps. Her project for the Institute is titled, "Fate Maps and Specification Maps."
Scott Curtis is an Associate Professor of Radio/Television/Film Studies at Northwestern University. He is currently conducting research on the tension between medical research and mass culture as it manifests itself in medical education films.
Michael Golec is an Assistant Professor of Art and Design History at Iowa State University. He is currently conducting research on the science films of the mid-twentieth century design team Charles (1907-1978) and Ray (1912-1988) Eames. His project for this Institute is titled, "Big Picture Science: The Science Films of Charles and Ray Eames."
Laura Perini is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Virginia Tech. She is currently conducting research on how pictures can serve as tools to convey links across different levels of conceptual complexity. Her project for the Institute is titled, "Abstraction, Pictures, and Pedagogy in the Life Sciences."
John Kulvicki (Philosophy)
Adina Roskies (Philosophy)
The 2006 Humanities Institute will host a series of speakers on Visual Culture and Pedagogy in the Life Sciences. All talks will be held in 2 Rockefeller Hall and will begin at 4:30pm. All are welcome to attend.
Thursday, April 13
LIFE FORMS: VISUAL LESSONS IN BIOLOGY