History of Science 282. Communications Media in the Sciences





This seminar will investigate how and to what extent knowledge is shaped by the communication practices and media through which it has been produced, from the seventeenth to the early twentieth century. The last decade has seen a convergence of concerns in book and media history with those in the history of science, including questions involving translation, standardization, intellectual property, technological determinism, and the materiality of knowledge. Participants will be encouraged to reconsider their own research interests in the light of these themes. Other topics will include the history of print genres and formats (books, letters, encyclopedias, journals, newspapers) in the sciences, information technologies, literary and rhetorical aspects of scientific argument, and scientific authors and readers. Secondary readings shall include Eisenstein, Johns, Latour, Daston, Bowker, Biagioli, Grafton, and Kittler.