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Department of History and Philosophy of Science


Weeks 1–4, Friday at noon, Seminar Room 2
Organisers: Sachiko Kusukawa (sk111) and Daniel Margocsy (dm753)

This is a reading seminar that is based on the assumption that we have all done the readings so that we can have a discussion based on them. For each session, please bring three questions that these sources have prompted, which can help jump start the conversation.

Easter Term 2024

26 April: Visions

James Elkins. How to Use Your Eyes. New York: Routledge, 2000 (also available on Elkins' site). Please pick three chapters that catch your interest.

Kate Crawford and Trevor Paglen. 'Excavating AI: The Politics of Images in Machine Learning Training'. AI & Society 36 (2021): 1105–1116.

Browse through John P. Jacob and Luke Skrebowski. Trevor Paglen: Sites Unseen. Washington, DC: Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2018.

Extra: Henrik Gustafsson. 'Foresight, Hindsight and State Secrecy in the American West: The Geopolitical Aesthetics of Trevor Paglen'. Journal of Visual Culture 12 (2013): 148–164.

3 May: Colour

Amy Buono and Sven Dupré. 'Introduction' in: Sven Dupré and Amy Buono, eds. A Cultural History of Color in the Renaissance. London: Bloomsbury, 2022, 1–16.

Charlotte Guichard, Anne-Solenne Le Hô and Hannah Williams. 'Prussian Blue: Chemistry, Commerce, and Colour in Eighteenth-Century Paris'. Art History 46/1 (2023): 154–186.

BuYun Chen. 'The Craft of Color and the Chemistry of Dyes: Textile Technology in the Ryukyu Kingdom, 1700–1900'. Technology and Culture 62/1 (2022): 87–117.

10 May: Colonial images

Cécile Fromont. Images on a Mission in Early Modern Kongo and Angola. University Park: PSU Press, 2022.

Yael Rice. 'Lines of Perception: European Prints and the Mughal Kitābkhāna' in: Suzanne Karr Schmidt and Edward Wouk, eds. Prints in Translation, 1450–1750: Image, Materiality, Space. London: Routledge, 2017, 202–223.

17 May: Filming the invisible

Peter Galison. Black Holes: The Edge of All We Know. Film available from most streaming websites.

Main image: Trevor Paglen, Keyhole Improved Crystal from Glacier Point (Optical Reconnaissance Satellite; USA 224), 2011.