Archive for category: Series

Historical Twitter: On Twitter, Telephony & India

Historical Twitter: On Twitter, Telephony & India

Ten years ago, on 21 March 2006, the first Twitter message—what would come to be called a tweet, but at the time was described as a status update—was sent. Four months later, on July 15, Twitter opened to the public as a messaging service. This is the first in a series of posts that explores Twitter through a historical lens. At least, it may become a series. We’ll see. The image above, satisfyingly opaque with its mysterious number block and bevy of well-regulated golden pigeons, appeared on the Twitter blog on 17 January 2008. That blog post announced a short […]

The Image Series: Open Wombs

The Image Series: Open Wombs

The Image Series invites HASTS affiliates and guest authors to write freely about one image relevant to their work.  To contribute to this set, contact Lan Li at lanli@mit.edu. The image above was found with other anonymous, anatomical illustrations, at the end of an eighteenth-century manuscript of Tibb-i-Akbar. Though the illustrations seem to be separate from the Tibb-e-Akbar, the text itself was written in Persian in 1700 by Muhammad Muqim Arzani, a Sufi physician from Gilan. When examining this anonymous, anatomical illustration, found appended to a manuscript of the Persian medical text Tibb-i-Akbar (1700), we see a woman holding open a flap of skin, inviting the reader to […]

The Image Series: Aveling and the Politics of Transfusion

The Image Series: Aveling and the Politics of Transfusion

The Image Series invites HASTS affiliates and guest authors to write freely about one image relevant to their work.  To contribute to this set, contact Lan Li at lanli@mit.edu. J. H. Aveling, `Immediate transfusion in England’, Obstetrics Journal, 1873, 1, 303. positions of patient and blood donor. Wellcome Library, London. In 1873, James Aveling proposed the first apparatus for immediate transfusion, a blood transfusion procedure characterized by the direct connection between donor and patient. Theoretically, immediate transfusion aimed to circumvent the problem of coagulation or blood clotting thought to be caused by the blood’s contact with the air. Aveling promoted his technological […]

The Image Series: Crania Americana

The Image Series: Crania Americana

James Poskett is an historian of science, race and print at the University of Cambridge. He is the current holder of the Adrian Research Fellowship at Darwin College where he is completing his first book on the global history of phrenology.  ‘Pawnee’, Plate 38, Samuel George Morton, Crania Americana (Philadelphia, 1839) Crania Americana is a disturbing book. Published in the winter of 1839, it features seventy-eight lithographic plates of Native North and South American skulls. The mastermind behind this grim project was the Philadelphia physician Samuel George Morton. Today, Morton is most often remembered as the founder of a distinctive ‘American […]

The Image Series: 12 Meridians

The Image Series: 12 Meridians

The Image Series features HASTS students and guest authors who are invited to freely write about one image relevant to their work.  This is the first in a set of curated posts on the HASTS Blog.  To contribute to this series, contact Lan Li at lanli@mit.edu “The relationship among the avenues of the 12 jingmai (meridians)” Wang Xuetai, Acu-Moxa Handbook [Zhenjiu Shouce] 1966, p 58 It may not look like it, but the diagram above is a map of the body.   We usually think of body maps as ideal types (in the Ian Hacking sense), like anatomical atlases, but the map above illustrates physiology.  Or, […]

The Image Series: An Introduction

The Image Series: An Introduction

Lord Rothschild on a Giant Tortoise When my sister and I were growing up in the urban jungle of LA, Sundays meant waking up to the gentle thump of the thicker, fuller, denser version of the Los Angeles Times landing at our doorstep.  This was exciting. Not because we were worldly citizens at 8 and 10 years old, but because in the gentle thump contained the Sunday comics…in color!  COLOR!  Ok, color can sometimes be distracting (see chapter 8 of Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art), but at least the artists and editors took the time to add another dimension to their work. Which is why […]

crossSTS Returns: Science of Bodies, Bodies in Science

crossSTS Returns: Science of Bodies, Bodies in Science

The crossSTS Working Group at MIT’s Program in History, Anthropology, and STS (HASTS) returns for five exciting meetings in Spring 2015. crossSTS started in Fall 2014, exploring the recent disciplinary, spatial, temporal, and geographical crossings in Science & Technology Studies in monthly meetings. We will start and end our second term with more general reflections on researching in field and archive and the politics in/of our own field STS, respectively. At the three meetings in between, we will focus on bodies in science: senses in science, bodies in (toxic) ecologies, and queer bodies and relations. We are delighted to have […]

+STS-Meeting: Spatial STS

+STS-Meeting: Spatial STS

Cambridge (MA), October 22nd, 2014. What is the place of space in Science & Technology Studies (STS)? This was the key question that the cross-STS Working Group discussed in its October 2014 meeting, suggesting that space emerges as an increasingly important and explicitly analyzed category. Robin Scheffler, who is currently a visiting scholar at the Cantabrigian American Academy of Arts and Sciences and will join MIT’s Program in STS next year, led the discussion. Building on a pre-circulated reading (Finnegan 2008), he provided a sketch of the place of space in seminal STS works from the past 30 years to […]

Cross-STS Launched—- Probing the Genealogies

Cross-STS Launched—- Probing the Genealogies

The new working group at HASTS, Cross-STS, had a great start last week, 9/24/2014, with over twenty people from varied disciplinary backgrounds like Anthropology, Architecture, Medicine, STS and Public Policy joining us. “STS” was dissected and reconfigured on several planes in this first meeting. Under the broad umbrella theme of “crossing” disciplinary, regional, transnational boundaries to discuss the emergent forms of STS, the meeting focused on the most recent 4S (Society of Social Studies of Science) conference held at Buenos Aires in August 2014, as well as, STS syllabi from schools across three different continents: Ecole des Hautes Etudes en […]

MIT Symposium on Gender + Technology – Session 3: DATA

MIT Symposium on Gender + Technology – Session 3: DATA

Saturday, February 22, 2014  |   MIT Organized by Renée Blackburn and Mitali Thakor, doctoral candidates in the MIT Program in History, Anthropology, + STS.  Feminist theory in STS has critically engaged questions of scientific ideology, institutional power, difference, and epistemology –- attending not only to gender but also race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, ability, postcoloniality, queer theory, and more… “Gender Binaries and the Ideological Affordances of Data Activism” J. Nathan Matias, MIT Nathan has been trying to develop new algorithms to increase diversity online.  At the moment, he is dealing with gender binaries to show how women are still an underrepresented […]