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Material Flows and Frictions

Material Flows and Frictions
170 St. George Street, JHB Room 100
Time: Apr 1st, 10:00 am End: Apr 1st, 5:30 pm
Interest Categories: Women/Gender, Humanities, History (FAS), History & Philosophy of Science & Technology (FAS), Historical Studies (UTM), Historical and Cultural Studies (UTSC), Arts, Culture and Media (UTSC), Art (FAS), Architecture, Landscape, Design, 2000-

The Jackman Humanities Institute Program for the Arts, the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science & Technology and Victoria University present


Conference presenters:

Lucia Allais
Katharine Anderson
Fa-ti Fan
John Harwood
Matthew C. Hunter
Hélène Mialet
Michael Osman
Martina Schlünder
Joan Steigerwald
Larry Stewart

This symposium considers historical interactions between mobility and materiality in order to explore their significance in processes of knowledge production. In particular, it focuses on the historical investigation of the material cultures of science, medicine, art, and architecture to examine the relationship between movement, materiality, and knowledge. Mobility has recently emerged as a particularly productive analytical framework in the humanities. Scholars have drawn attention to the importance of integrating the categories of ‘movement' and ‘mobility' into historical considerations about knowledge-making processes. At the same time, attention has been drawn to the drawbacks associated with an understanding of movement and circulation as an allegedly natural, smooth, uniform, unidirectional, and unobstructed processes. ‘Material Flows and Frictions' deploys expertise in the histories of science, art, and architecture in order to examine how material embodiments as well as forms of material resistance and frictions have historically facilitated or hindered the production, transfer, and consumption of knowledge in the arts and sciences.

Organized by
Zeynep Çelik Alexander, Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, University of Toronto
Lucia Dacome, Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, University of Toronto

Friday, April 1, 2016

10:00: Introduction

1.Matter in Motion
Moderated by Joan Steigerwald (Department of Humanities, York University)

10:10-10:40: Lousy Research: Boxing in the Material Culture of Typhus Fever Vaccine Production
Martina Schlünder (Women and Gender Studies Institute, University of Toronto)

10:40-11:10: Liquid Intelligence: Reynolds, the Sea, and Risk
Matthew C. Hunter (Department of Art History and Communication Studies, McGill University)

Discussion: 11:10-11:30

Tea & Coffee: 11:30-11:50

2. Detecting the Intangible
Moderated by Zeynep Çelik Alexander (Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, University of Toronto)

11:50-12:20: Between Friction and Attunement: How Dogs Become Instruments
Hélène Mialet (Department of Science and Technology Studies, York University)

12:20-12:50: Seismic Waves, Sensory Webs: Earthquake Monitoring in Communist China
Fa-ti Fan (History Department, Binghamton University)

Discussion: 12:50-1:10

Lunch 1:10-2:30

3. Connectivities
Moderated by Lucia Dacome (Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, University of Toronto)

2:30-3:00: Highway Historicities: Architecture, Matter, and the Shape of Developmentalist Time
Lucia Allais (School of Architecture, Princeton University)

3:00-3:30: On Wires; or, Metals and Modernity Reconsidered
John Harwood (Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, University of Toronto)

Discussion: 3:30-3:50

Tea & Coffee: 3:50-4:10

4. Mobilizing Knowledge
Moderated by Katharine Anderson (Department of Humanities, York University)

4:10-4:40: Transporting Chemistry: Or, What Happened on the Way Back from Pekin at the End of the 18th Century
Larry Stewart (Department of History, University of Saskatchewan)

4:40-5:10: From Systems to Standards: Wright's Industrialized House Designs
Michael Osman (Department of Architecture and Urban Design, University of California, Los Angeles)

Discussion: 5:10-5:30

This event is free and open to all. No registration is required. For further information, please contact Zeynep Alexander or Lucia Dacome


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