Good morning, welcome to the Women's Caucus Breakfast!
We might not be able to get together in the hotel ballroom this year and exchange lively conversations over coffee and pastries, but at the very least, we can share our news and updates!
Pnina Geraldine Abir-Am
has published widely on the history of molecular biology, the history of women and gender in science, the history of public memory, and the history of science funding. She is editor or co-editor of four volumes, including Osiris 14 (2000) on Commemorative Practices in Science; the Founding Series Editor for “Lives of Women in Science”; (established 1989) and the recipient of the first HSS Prize for “outstanding research essay on women in science”. (1988) She held research or teaching positions in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Israel, and Canada, and spoke at numerous international conferences, most recently at ESHS-2020-Bologna, on 9-2-2020. Her most recent publication is “Women Who Discovered RNA Splicing”, American Scientist, September-October 2020, based on research sponsored by NSF-STS, which she presented at science and history of science venues in Boston, Paris, Jerusalem, Montreal, Prague, and Bologna. She is currently processing this extensive research into a book and a play. In this connection, she is seeking the Caucus’s advice on constructively protesting the exclusion of these women’s collective portrait from the journal’s cover, which means a missed opportunity to engage the journal’s 80K readers with the article’s key message of the impact of persisting gender bias on epistemic injustice and the integrity of science. She is a Resident Scholar at the Women’s Studies Research Center, (WSRC) Brandeis University, Waltham, MA. 02454, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, and the founding director of Scientific Legacies, which advises on improving the historical authenticity and social inclusiveness of scientific anniversaries.
is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities Scholars Program at Cornell University. Her current book project, Making Mathematics American, examines the intersection of gender, professionalization, and abstraction during the early-twentieth-century growth of mathematics in the United States. Ellen was recently awarded the Cornell STS Abraham Zito Boczkowski Award for Excellence in Teaching, and one of her goals for this year is to engage more HSS scholars in conversations about history of science and STS pedagogy. Please feel free to reach out! (website: ellenabrams.org)
Associate Professor of History at Loyola Marymount University, is a Dibner Research Fellow in the History of Science and Technology at the Huntington Library for 2020-2021. She is working toward the completion of her book manuscript, A Most Useful and Peculiar Science: Phrenology in Practice in the Nineteenth Century.
Scottie Hale Buehler
completed her PhD in the History of science and medicine at UCLA in September 2020. Her dissertation, “Being and Becoming a Midwife in Eighteenth—century France”, was a practice and object oriented study of midwifery training programs. Augmenting published textbooks, a variety of unexplored sources gathered from over 30 archives and libraries enabled her project to investigate local negotiations around midwifery pedagogy. She argued that the French governmental and medical institutions sought to regulate and control midwifery, not eliminate the practice, thus challenging the Anglocentric narrative of male usurpation of the female domain of midwifery. While midwifery courses expanded state and medical control over childbirth to an unprecedented degree, debates around midwifery education expose the diverse and sometimes conflicting strategies midwives employed.
is a historian of science who researches the intersections of science and culture and the visualization of knowledge, particularly in the eighteenth century. Her research has focused on developments in eighteenth-century France, studying bourgeoisie values in Buffon’s encyclopedic L’Histoire Naturelle and the use of scientific notation systems for court dance and military drill. Her current book project, Visualizing the Noble Body in Motion: Diagrammatic Notations for Dance and Drill in the Age of Enlightenment examines the implications of graphic visualizations in the sciences for new ways of measuring and understanding the movement of human bodies. A second book project, Icons of Artifice: A Cultural History of Eighteenth-Century Greenhouses, underscores the connections between technology, culture, and science. Dr. Caulkins’ classes include “The Nature of Beasts: Animals in History and Science,” “Sites for Science: A History of the Laboratory,” “Environmental History,” and “Science and the Sea: Ocean History from the Age of Sail to the Twenty-first Century.” Recent presentations include “Geometry for Nobles: The Math of Self-Fashioning in the Age of Enlightenment,” at the 9th International Conference of the European Society for the History of Science (ESHS) and Understanding Nature through Graphic Representations: Maria Sibylla Merian and Alexander von Humboldt in the Long Eighteenth Century for the Centre for the Humanities & Medicine at the University of Hong Kong. Her co-authored article on “Co-teaching Botany and History: An Interdisciplinary Model for a More Inclusive Curriculum” was featured in the Focus section on pedagogy in the Sept. 2020 issue of Isis.
Soraya de Chadarevian
has published a new book, Heredity under the Microscope: Chromosomes and the Study of the Human Genome (Chicago, July 2020). The book sheds new light on the cultural history of postwar
human genetics and on the role of visual evidence in knowledge claims.
I continue to teach history of science, medicine, & the environment, women's & gender history, & early modern European history at what used to be called the State University of New York at Stony Brook and what is now called Stony Brook University. I had an exciting transition to teaching online in March, as I'm sure many of you did, and since then have been focusing on trying to (finally!) finish a draft of my current (second) book project on the role of the family in enabling science & medicine in early modern Europe & its colonies. As my term as Co-Chair of the HSS Women's Caucus nears its end (I'll be stepping down in January), I look forward to welcoming Anita Guerrini as the new Co-Chair, alongside Jai Virdi!
Khadija E. Fouad
a Visiting Assistant Professor in Biology at Appalachian State University, teaches secondary science education, history and philosophy of science, and microbiology. She previously taught science in K-12 settings. She earned a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction for Science Education, minoring in History and Philosophy of Science in 2016 and an M. A. in Microbiology in1989, both from Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. She earned a B. A. in Biology, minoring in African and African-American Studies from Earlham College, Richmond, IN in 1981. Research Interests include students’ and teachers’ conceptions of nature of science (NOS), effective NOS instruction, using history of science to teach NOS, evolution education, and culturally relevant pedagogy.
is Horning Professor in the Humanities and Professor of History Emerita at Oregon State University. Her most recent book, The Courtiers’ Anatomists: Animals and Humans in Louis XIV’s Paris (2015) won the 2018 Pfizer Prize of the History of Science Society. She received the Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Science from Indiana University. Her research has focused on the early modern life sciences, the history of animals, the history of food, and historical ecology. She is currently working on two related book projects centered in early modern Western Europe: on the making and displaying of human skeletons, and on giants, fossil bones, and national identities. She recently completed a second edition of Experimenting with Humans and Animals (Johns Hopkins, 2003). Recent articles include “A Natural History of the Kitchen” (Osiris 2020); “Retrospective: Unconventional Paths” (BJHS, 2019: a look back at her career as a working-class woman in the academy), and “Counterfeit Bodies: Anatomy and the Art of Copying at the Paris Academy of Sciences” (Word and Image, 2019). She has won grants for her research (among others) from the National Science Foundation, the French Centre national de la recherche scientifique, NEH, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, and mostly recently in 2019 the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France, and the Descartes Center in Utrecht, Netherlands. Her website/blog is https://anitaguerrini.com She has served on numerous HSS committees, and is incoming co-chair of the HSS Women’s Caucus (2021).
(Professor and Interim Chair of Science, Technology, and Society at Rochester Institute of Technology) is a member of the editorial boards of Environmental History and the Journal of the History of Biology, and is delighted to share the news of her forthcoming book, Deep Cut: Science, Power, and the Unbuilt Interoceanic Canal (Athens: University of Georgia Press). It will be published in December 2020, and is also available in open-access digital format via the Sustainable History Monograph Pilot.
Sally Gregory Kohlstedt
Hi, this is the annual update a long-term and engaged member of the HSS Women’s Caucus. I also was involved in writing the Respective Behavior Policy and urge you to contact the current Ombudsperson if you experience any issues involved with HSS. We are determined to address issues directly and quickly. My home base is the HSTM program at the University of Minnesota, where I am currently teaching an honors course entitled Campus Obscura: Cabinets of Curiosity at the University of Minnesota as an introduction to both materiality in historical studies and an entry into museum studies. Like all of you, I feel currently very grounded locally, but with our university library opening cautiously, I am working in the archives on the (limited) papers of Josephine Tilden, who taught botany the UMN in the early twentieth century and coordinated a short-lived but very productive field station on the Pacific Coast of British Columbia. It was, in certain ways, a forerunner of Friday Harbor and I would be interested in contact from anyone who has investigated its early history. I would also add that the murder of George Floyd had indeed dramatically impacted my local neighbourhood even as we work to build new and stronger community for everyone. Those dramatic pictures are sometimes real, but they miss the fact that in the midst of disruption and burning, there has opened deep caring and determination to address systemic issues.
(History, University College London) is happy to share the news that she was appointed co-editor of the Social Histories of Medicine book series at Manchester University Press. She would be delighted to discuss potential projects on histories of health, medicine and the body. The series welcomes proposals for monographs and edited volumes, and is experienced with Open Access publishing.
My new book with Harvard University Press, Rational Fog: Science and Technology in Modern War was published on September 15, 2020. It is based on a course that I have been teaching at Penn for many years, and I hope it can be used by others to help undergraduates understand how science and war have been tangled up together in the modern period. How did we build this assemblage of brutality and pure truth? This book is an attempt to frame that question clearly. It is not a canonical history of science, technology, and war. It is rather a reflective exploration of technical violence informed by feminist theory, science and technology studies, and ethnographic and sociological scholarship. Many of the topics I explore have been examined in great detail in extraordinary, sometimes riveting, scholarly studies of particular nations, technologies, scientific disciplines, and military campaigns. I draw on this scholarly literature to reconstruct events, reflect on their connections, and provide guidance to readers who wish to learn more. I also draw on my own scholarship, which has focused on science in the United States after 1945, and particularly on interpretations of the atomic bomb produced by the scientific community. I hope this book can raise questions that will engage students and perhaps inspire new scholarship.
is a learning designer at the Hub for Innovation in Learning and Technology, Michigan State University, where she designs and researches experiential interdisciplinary courses and facilitates the campus transition to online teaching and learning. She also teaches courses in the history, philosophy, and sociology of science at Lyman Briggs College, MSU. Ellie completed a PhD in Science & Technology Studies at York University in 2018, researching wildlife films’ representation of animal behavior. This work cemented for her the importance of engaged communication, storytelling, and the value of a big toolbox of methods. Ellie is also interested in science communication, science in the media, conservation, documentary, and the history and philosophy of biology. Her work fits within a broader conversation about the historical and cultural treatment of nature, environment, and wilderness. Ellie is an active member of CSHPS and has contributed to conversations around learning experiences, decolonizing curriculum, and online teaching for their newsletter Communiqué. In Fall 2020 was a co-organizer of the Public Engagement with Science online conference. She tweets as @elouson.
(Clemson University) I am planning to teach for a few more years, though the program building I hoped to do before retirement has been slowed down by the current stresses on the university. I’m currently teaching a partly-synchronous class of 128 students online, which is a whole new challenge. To expand opportunities to support our proposed PhD program in Digital History (that we are hoping to get through the final stage of approval this year), I’m developing a general education course on something like Politics and Ethics of Data and Algorithms. That feels like different strands of my work at Clemson coming together. I had a wonderful time co-leading a faculty-led study abroad trip to Germany in summer 2019 and it helped me finally get my enthusiasm back, four years after being widowed. I’m sorry not to be able to do the trip again this year and next, but I’m doing an international virtual exchange project in the spring where my students will work on projects with students at Hochschule Landshut.
is a PhD candidate finishing her dissertation on the history of paleoanthropology, “Discovering Human Origins: Fossils and Controversies.” Focusing on fossils as scientific objects, her research examines three controversial discoveries from the science’s history asking, how do fossils formulate, challenge, and reconfigure notions of what it means to be human? The three specimens at the center of this narrative are the type specimens of Homo neanderthalensis, Australopithecus africanus, and Homo floresiensis, each discovered three quarters of a century apart on three different continents. By comparing, contrasting, and connecting these three specimen’s different stories from the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first century in Europe, Africa, and Asia respectively, Paige explores broader issues including global science, colonial science, and circulation. Paige also practices science communication, writing for outlets like National Geographic, SAPIENS, and Aeon as well as blogging and engaging on social media through her platform @FossilHistory.
My bio and a picture is available online. My news in 2019-20 is that I have stepped down as interim dean of my college at DePaul and began a research sabbatical during which I will bring several works-in-progress to fruition. Mainly these consist of book chapters and journal articles that extend my work on domesticity, gender, queer studies, and colonial botany. I will also begin co-editing, with Rich Bellon, volume 16 of the John Tyndall Correspondence project published by University of Pittsburgh Press. Recently I began serving as Topical Collection Editor on Women, Gender and Sexuality in Biology for the Journal of the History of Biology. I continue to serve as Editor-in-Chief of Endeavour. For HSS, I co-chair, with Myrna Perez Sheldon, the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. On a more personal note, I am currently training to run in the Chicago Marathon in 2021.
is a historian of science and knowledge in Germany and its environs. She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Chicago perusing her degree jointly with the Committee on Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science and the Department of History. For the 2020-2021 academic year she is also a Visiting International Graduate Student affiliated with the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology at the at the University of Toronto. Kris’s dissertation focuses on the development of classical philology within the German university system from 1750-1830. He work demonstrates how and why classical philology became an increasingly important field of study in Germany after 1750 due to the adoption of philological methods and scholarly practices that enabled philologists to produce new knowledge about human history and the development of mankind. It also reveals the extent to which classical philology facilitated the emergence of a distinctive mode of German science by 1830. Her planned monograph will build on the work of the dissertation by exploring the ways in which classical philology provided a model for practitioners in the natural and social sciences in Germany during the nineteenth century. In January 2020 Kris became the first elected Early Career Representative (ECR) to HSS Council. Her primary responsibility is to speak on behalf of graduate student and early career scholars in the meetings of HSS council. She would like to strongly encourage members of that community to contact her with any questions, concerns, or suggestions. kristinepalmieri.com
(Ph.D. candidate, Yale University) made her first foray into studio art this year with a collaboration with Denver-based artist Regan Rosburg. She and Rosburg met in 2019, through their participation in the Arctic Circle, a two-week interdisciplinary residency on a boat in the Svalbard archipelago in the Norwegian Arctic. Together, they created the mixed-media installation "Terra Nullius," (pictured) which explored their shared interest in the entanglements of gender, labor, environmental exploitation, and Arctic exploration and mapping at the turn of the twentieth century and today. "Terra Nullius" was on display from January to April of this year at the McNichols Center in Denver as part of the exhibition Dearly Disillusioned, an exhibition showcasing the work of feminist artists responding to the centenary of the ratification of the 19th amendment to the U.S. constitution (although the pandemic closed the exhibition to the public in mid-March).
is a historian of science and environment whose work emphasizes the transnational connections of science in the US and Latin America in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Her book American Tropics: The Caribbean Roots of Biodiversity Science (University of North Carolina Press, 2017) explores the relationship between the history of field ecology, the expansion of U.S. hegemony in the circum-Caribbean during the 20th century, and the emergence of the modern concept of biodiversity. American Tropics was awarded the 2019 Philip J. Pauly Prize by the History of Science Society. Megan Raby is also the author of articles appearing in journals including Environmental History and Isis; the latter was awarded the History of Science Society's 2016 Price/Webster Award for best article. With her colleague Erika Bsumek, she is organizing this year’s “Climate in Context: Historical Precedents and the Unprecedented” theme for the Institute for Historical Studies. This includes a series of public, online talks by historians of science and the environment, culminating in a conference in spring 2021, as well as participation by Residential Fellows Melissa Charenko and Christopher Sellers. See this page for links to this semester’s events. All are welcome to these events. Please feel free to share the announcement widely.
studies the history of the modern life sciences and science education in the United States, and she is the Vice-President (2020-2021) of the History of Science Society. She co-edits (with Marsha Richmond) the Journal of the History of Biology and serves as an implementation committee co-chair (with Rhonda Keyes Pleasants) for Memorialization and Interment, in VCU’s public history reparations effort, the East Marshall Street Well Project. Her most recent book, co-authored with Victoria E.M. Cain, is Life on Display: Revolutionizing U.S. Museums of Science and Natural History in the Twentieth Century (University of Chicago Press, 2015) which was awarded the 2015 History of Education Society annual book prize for the best book in the field. She co-edited (with Liv Emma Thorsen and Adam Dodd) Animals on Display: The Creaturely in Museums, Zoos, and Natural History (Penn State University Press, 2014). Her first book, Making Mice: Standardizing Animals for American Biomedical Research, 1900-1955 (Princeton University Press, 2004) was selected as a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Book. After the pandemic, she hopes to once again be working on her new book project, Science for Grown-Ups, on the history of adult informal science education
(Ph.D. History and Culture, Drew University, 2018) speaks on October 12, 2020 at a conference organized by the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries, in conjunction with The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. The CLIR-funded project “For the Health of the New Nation: Philadelphia as the Center of American Medical Education, 1746-1868” is hosting “Silences in the LAMS: Digital Surrogacy in the Time of Pandemic,” a conversation on researching and teaching with online resources. Physician Henry Hartshorne (1823–1897) was professor of medicine at Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania during the post-germ theory transition to science-based practices of medicine. Using Hartshorne’s handwritten and annotated lecture notes on pediatrics as a case study, Ricculli’s paper “Curating History in the COVID19 Era: Philadelphia Epidemics and Nineteenth-Century American Women’s Medical Education” explores ways in which today’s undergraduates studying the history of public health and medicine can engage with digital primary source documents to demonstrate contemporaries’ understanding of change over time. Ricculli teaches History of Science, Medicine & Technology, and Environmental History. During the fall of 2020, she returns (virtually) to the American Museum of Natural History’s Student Conference on Conservation Science as invited presentation reviewer and mentor on communicating science research to public audiences.
I am a Marie Skłodowska-Curie postdoctoral fellow currently visiting at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, before I will complete the fellowship at the University of Geneva Switzerland. My research focuses on how visual cultures and knowledge production mutually inform each other. In my current project, I am investigating the production and usage of zoological illustrations in biological research and the ways that they are picked up and used in popularizations. At the same time, I am finishing my first book manuscript on the Naples Zoological Station. Through the lens of marine biologist Wilhelm Giesbrecht, one of the station’s few permanent scientists, I explore the station’s work culture, social organization, and scientific knowledge production. I offer a new perspective on the station, showing the importance of both field and lab work to the station’s research program. My story further embeds the station and its employees in social environment of the city of Naples around 1900. In these exceptional times, I am staying sane by raising my 18-month old son Arthur and exploring Wisconsin’s beautiful nature with my family.
is the incoming Book Reviews Editor for the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences. She is looking to develop a list of potential reviewers. If you are interested in reviewing for JHMAS, please fill out the google form or email her directly; please share with other faculty and graduate students who might be interested. Courtney's book, An Organ of Murder: Crime, Violence, and Phrenology in Nineteenth-century America, is forthcoming from Rutgers University Press (February 2021).
Conevery Bolton Valencius
(CON-a-very va-LEN-chus): I write and teach at Boston College, in the History Department and the Program in Environmental Studies. I came from a background in the history of medicine, and my first book was The Health of the Country: How AmericanSettlers Understood Themselves and Their Land, in 2002. The Lost History of the New MadridEarthquakes (2013) got me into earthquakes. I'm now co-writing a history of earthquakes and the shale boom with science journalist Anna Kuchment. I’ve worked a lot through collaboration: had a great deal of fun co-authoring an article on “Science in Early America” (Journal of the Early Republic, 2016) and currently co-teach a class on energy in the US along with a seismologist and an industrial ecologist. Sometimes I get to talk with Park Rangers about logistics, leadership, and U.S. Grant. I now have a steady straight-up academic berth, but 2004-2011 I was by choice a free-range scholar writing and researching while also chasing a houseful of small children. I’m glad to be a resource on alternate career paths. Twitter: @Conevery, Instagram: @coneveryvalencius)
is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at University of Delaware, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the history of medicine and disability histories. She has published her first book, Hearing Happiness: Deafness Cures in History (University of Chicago Press, 2020), which mixes memoir and lyrical history to raise pivotal questions about deafness in American society and the endless quest for a cure. In 2020 she also saw the publication of her co-edited collection with Iain Hutchison and Martin Atherton, Disability and the Victorians: Attitudes, Legacies, Interventions (Manchester University Press, 2020) and a chapter in Bess Williamson and Elizabeth Guffey's Making Disability Modern: Design Histories (Bloomsbury, 2020). She continues advocating for disability accessibility and accommodations online and has been consulting for the past several months on best practices for closed captioning for our new virtual world.
Monthly newsletter featuring member news, announcements, resources, publications, and more!