The Graduate Seminars offer a sustained and systematic introduction to specific cutting-edge areas of research, led by leading experts in those areas.
Aims and Methods of Histories of the Sciences
Nick Jardine, Hasok Chang and Cristina Chimisso; Mondays 11am–12.30pm, weekly from 24 October (6 sessions)
These six graduate seminars will consider aspects of the history, aims, methods and current problems of the history of science.
Science in Print I: Book Production in the Hand Press Period
Roger Gaskell and Anna Jones; Wednesdays 11am–12.30pm, weekly from 9 November (4 sessions), Whipple Old Library, except session 3
Using examples from the Whipple Library's rare book collections, these sessions will explore some bibliographical techniques to identify and describe the structure and production of printed material from the hand press period (16th–18th centuries).
Lauren Kassell; Tuesday 22 November, 10am–12noon
Between 1596 and 1634 Simon Forman and Richard Napier recorded 80,000 astrological consultations. This is one of the largest surviving sets of medical records in history. While the majority of the cases are about medical questions, matters of health and well-being, personal affairs, romantic interests, worldly affairs, and the occult sciences are also represented. This is a rich resource for the history of dynamics between patients and practitioners and experiences of illness and healing. The Casebooks Project presents a digital edition of Forman's and Napier's records, an image archive of the original manuscripts, and innovative facilities for searching and sorting the corpus. This class introduces these 400-year-old manuscripts and tutors students in using digital humanities to understand them.
Hasok Chang; Michaelmas Term, dates and location TBD
As philosophy of science tries to reach a better understanding of scientific practice, there has recently been a fresh recognition of the importance and relevance of pragmatism. In this graduate seminar we will search through the body of classic pragmatist philosophy to locate concepts, insights and arguments that are useful for epistemology and the philosophy of science. The readings will be a combination of primary and secondary sources. Special attention will be paid to two major thinkers who are now sadly neglected: John Dewey and Clarence Irving Lewis.
Chinese Medical Traditions: Historical Perspectives
Mary Brazelton; date and location TBD
These sessions give an introduction to the historical study of Chinese medicine, a field that has recently undergone significant change and increasing engagement with the history of medicine in the West. The sessions begin with an overview of basic concepts and traditions, exploring canonical foundations and Daoist and Buddhist influences in the premodern era. In the later two sessions, we will discuss important transformations in the making of modern Chinese medicine, including imperial institutionalizations, the introduction of Western biomedicine to China, and the modern globalization of Chinese medicine. Each meeting will include discussions of important archaeological findings, texts, and other primary sources; optional sessions will include trips to the University Library and Needham Research Institute to investigate texts and objects of particular interest. Students need not have a language background in Chinese in order to attend, although optional readings in Chinese will be suggested; all are welcome.
Psychotherapy in Historical Perspective
Sarah Marks and Matthew Drage; dates and location TBD
This seminar critically explores the development of key psychotherapeutic approaches in their historical context, from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present day. It takes in the psychoanalytic traditions from Freud and Jung, through humanistic, psychosomatic and behavioural approaches, to the popular contemporary practices of CBT and mindfulness. Each session will involve an introduction to the key figures and concepts of a particular approach, a focused discussion of a canonical primary text, as well as debates from the secondary literature. The seminar also addresses broader questions about the use of different types of sources in the History of Science, as well as the (sometimes vehement) controversies and agendas that have shaped history writing, particularly in relation to the psychological disciplines. The seminar is aimed at Part III, MPhil and PhD students in HPS, but all are welcome.
Programming for Busy Academics
Shahar Avin; dates and location TBD
Programming offers a remarkable toolbox for performing academic-related tasks, and advances in online learning and community support have made it easier than ever to pick it up. The sessions in Lent will introduce the various potential uses of programming in an academic context, key stepping stones required on the way to mastery, and the available resources you could use to build up this skill. Easter Term sessions would be focused on specific advanced technologies and problem-shooting tutorials to enable you to complete your own programming projects, be they a data-driven website, a computer model, a web-scraping tool or a text analysis script.
Science in Print II: Book Production in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries
James Poskett and Sarah Bull; Wednesdays 11am–12.30pm, weekly from 1 March (3 sessions), Whipple Old Library
Science in Print continues in the Lent Term with a sub-series of sessions looking at mechanized book production in the 19th and early 20th centuries led by experts from the Department's postdoc community, with a special focus on the following themes: production, illustration, and distribution.