The reading group “Towards a New Materialism? Exploring Artifactuality and Material Culture in History of Science, Technology and Medicine” which I presented in a post on this blog in early September has met twice now; last Thursday we visited Gustav Holmberg and his acquarium-ish seminar room at the Research Policy Institute at the University of Lund to discuss Andy Pickering’s The Mangle of Practice (1995) — a great and original book which still raises some troubling questions about “material agency” and “intentionality” in scientific, technological (and by default, medical) practice.
Next time — Thursday 7 December — we will meet at the Medical Museion in Copenhagen where we are going to discuss another almost ten years old but still very influential book, viz., Sharon Macdonald’s collection of papers Politics of Display: Museums, Science, Culture (1997). If you want to attend, please contact Mats Fridlund, MAF@dtv.dk.
It’s a wonderful group: both times we have been some 8-10 people around the table with all different kinds of backgrounds: history of ideas, history of technology, museums, computer research etc. Lively discussions, good sandwiches, and nice atmosphere. It’s a great learning environment.