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Biomedicine in museums

Next SLSA conference on 'Figurations of Knowledge' in Berlin, June 2008

The Society for Science, Literature, and the Arts (SLSA) are holding their next conference at the Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung in Berlin, 3-7 June, 2008. Here’s the call for papers:

Recent and current research in Science Studies has devoted increasing attention to semantic transfers, translations, and changes of register between forms of knowledge. In terms of studying the relationship between literature, science, and the arts, this implies a general reinterpretation of how scientific knowledge affects literature and the arts or how it is represented in them. For the ‘and’ linking established oppositional pairs such as ‘art and science’, ‘literature and science’, or else ‘sciences and humanities’ ultimately presumes a homogeneous situation on both respective sides. It is only under this precondition that the clear dichotomies between knowledge cultures can be formed that have been so consequential for the emergence of the modern science system. Yet the arts – as well as the historical hermeneutic sciences – have always worked empirically, and the sciences have long dealt with questions calling for the interpretative capacity of the humanities or the creative potential of the arts – questions such as those about free will or consciousness.

The SLSA conference in 2008 will therefore focus on:

such transitional phenomena with their historical, conceptual, and epistemological conditions. In contrast to the persistent tendency of science theory, science history, and science policies to fall back on the ‘two cultures’ model, we intend to examine how knowledge figures both historically and presently into the plurality and heterogeneity of knowledge cultures, i.e. in different respective functional contexts. This perspective of figurations of knowledge draws on the multiple meanings of the words ‘figure and figuration’ – from the symbolism of mathematical, geometric, or diagrammatic figures to figurality and figuration in rhetoric and iconography up to figural interpretation as an interpretative tool -, in order to delineate the specific ways in which knowledge is produced, distributed, and reviewed in the interplay between schematization and dynamization, between empiricism and speculation, between measurement and interpretation.

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Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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