Working Groups

The Consortium invites scholars to join our topical working groups for challenging and collegial discussion of interesting publications in their fields and of each others’ works-in-progress.

Each group meets monthly. All interested scholars are welcome to participate via online video conferencing.

To join a group:

  1. Log in, or create an account
  2. Click on a group below
  3. Click on the "Membership" tab and select "Request Group Membership"

Submit a discussion paper for one of the working groups.

Upcoming Meetings

Please set your timezone.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023 2:00 pm EDT

Kelley Wilder (Professor of Photographic History, Director of the Photographic History Research Centre, and Director of the Institute of Art and Design at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK) will share her paper titled "Photographic Commerce and the Venus Transits in Britain" on March 28th. Here is the abstract:

Monday, April 3, 2023 11:30 am EDT

"Engineering on Trial: The 1920 Nile Projects Controversy and Epistemologies of Measurement”
Anthony Greco, University of California, Santa Barbara
This work-in-progress explores how medieval Arabic literary traditions, Egyptian nationalist engineers, and British physical scientists shaped the methods of hydraulic science in the Nile Valley of 1920. The physical and social networks which produced and circulated hydraulic data on the Nile reflected the complex relationship between science, colonialism, and national liberation. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2023 11:00 am EDT

Discussions on smallpox and smallpox vaccination according to Şanizade - Yasemin Akçagüner (Columbia University, New York)

Wednesday, April 5, 2023 12:00 pm EDT

Jason Pribilsky joins us from Whitman College to workshop his chapter, “Dream Collecting in the Cold War Andes: Probing and Projecting Indigenous Interiors in Cornell-Peru Project at Vicos.”

Thursday, April 6, 2023 12:00 pm EDT

Natalia Gándara (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso). Title TBA

Friday, April 7, 2023 10:00 am EDT

Rachel Silberstein, A Fashionable Century: Textile Artistry and Commerce in Late Qing (Seattle: Washington University Press, 2020), Introduction and chapter 3.

Friday, April 7, 2023 12:00 pm EDT

Marta Lourenco (Universidade de Lisboa, Museu Nacional de Historia e da Cienca), Talk Title TBA

Friday, April 7, 2023 2:30 pm EDT

"Mother Hens: Women and the social reproduction of medical illustration"
Drew Danielle Belsky

Tuesday, April 11, 2023 12:00 pm EDT

Title: Alluring Stimulant: Poison, the Body, and a Reinterpretation of Side Effects

Wednesday, April 12, 2023 9:30 am EDT

"Mie's Theory of Matter and Gravitation" by C. Smeenk and C. Martin and "Foundations of a Theory of Matter (excerpts)" by G. Mie as in "The Genesis of General Relativity - Sources and Interpretations" edited by M. Janssen, J. Norton, J. Renn, T. Sauer and J. Stachel (Springer, 2007),

Wednesday, April 12, 2023 12:00 pm EDT

Roopika Risam, Dartmouth College
Abstract: TBD. Check back a week or two before the meeting date to access the pre-circulated paper and Zoom link.

Thursday, April 13, 2023 12:00 pm EDT

During this meeting, we will discuss the "Historian" section of the planned volume, featuring the following essays: 

  • Barron Lerner, "Positionality"
  • Richard McKay, "Becoming an Ethical Historian"
  • Kylie Smith, "Reparatory History"
  • Adam Biggs, "Historical Therapeutics"
  • Nicole Schroeder, "Accessibility"
  • Jess Dillard-Wright, "Advocacy and Activism"

The essay drafts will be uploaded on April 6. 

Thursday, April 13, 2023 1:00 pm EDT

Vanessa Freije, University of Washington, "Imaginaries of Satellite Technology in Hidalgo, Mexico”
Mikael Wolfe, Stanford University, "Visual and Aural Aesthetics of the 1970 Ten million-ton Sugar Harvest in Cuba”

Friday, April 14, 2023 11:00 am EDT

"Can Mixtures Be Identified by Touch? The Reception of Galen’s De complexionibus in Italian Renaissance Medicine"
Viktoria von Hoffmann (FNRS / Liège)
Response: Anita Guerrini (Oregon State)

Friday, April 14, 2023 1:30 pm EDT
  • Michiel Bron, “Uranium’s geographies: How the geographical properties of uranium determined the formation of an infamous cartel and the involvement of oil companies in the uranium market.”
  • Hilary Blum, “The Public Need to Know: Public Relations, Public History, and Secrecy at the Hanford Nuclear Site.”
Monday, April 17, 2023 10:00 am EDT

Speaker: Dr Cristina Pecchia, University of Vienna and  Austrian Academy of Sciences
Topic: TBA

Tuesday, April 18, 2023 2:00 pm EDT

Dominik Hünniger, Universität Hamburg, "The museum at sea - collecting ecologies of marine micro-fauna at the Museum Godeffroy (ca. 1861-1885)"

Tuesday, April 18, 2023 6:00 pm EDT

Julia Sanchez-Dorado, Technische Universität Berlin and Susan Sterrett, Wichita State University, "The meandering epistemic status of river models in American hydraulics (1922-1949)"

Thursday, April 20, 2023 11:30 am EDT

Noah Kahrs - PhD candidate, University of Rochester
Chapter title: "Electronic Music’s Separation of Acoustics from Tonality" from a dissertation currently titled: "Composing (with) Theories of Acoustics and Pitch Perception after 1950."

Friday, April 21, 2023 12:00 pm EDT

Podcasting Applied Medical History
This session brings together scholars who have succeeded in creating broader conversations about the history of medicine and the social, racial, and economic determinants of health through the medium of podcasting.
Confirmed Panelists:
Matthew Smith (University of Strathclyde): Producer/Host, "History in Action" Podcast
Max Jordan Nguemeni Tiako (Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA): Producer/Host, "Flip the Script" Podcast

Friday, April 28, 2023 12:00 pm EDT

Paper Discussion: 'Revolutionary Vision: Myopia, Socialist Youth and Public Health Campaigns in China (1960-1976)’
Yixue Yang (University of California, San Diego)
Discussant: Dora Vargha (Humboldt University Berlin)

Monday, May 1, 2023 11:30 am EDT

"Imagining A ‘Peatlandian Humanities’ for the ‘Lungs of Humanity’: An African Carbon Sink in the Congo Basin and the Climate Emergency"
Frank Blibo, Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Thursday, May 4, 2023 12:00 pm EDT

During this meeting, we will discuss the "Museums & Archives" section of the planned volume, featuring the following essays: 

  • Melissa Grafe, "Specimens"
  • Aisling Shalvey, "Human Remains"
  • Katrina Jirik, "Disability"
  • Amanda Mahoney, "Stewardship"
  • Shelley Saggar, "Decolonizing Archives and Museums"
  • Aparna Nair, "Commercialization of Remains and Records"

The essay drafts will be uploaded on April 27. 

Thursday, May 4, 2023 12:00 pm EDT

Cold War Cartographic Technologies 
Julie Gibbings, The University of Edinburgh 
Sebastian Diaz Angel, Cornell University 

Friday, May 5, 2023 12:00 pm EDT

Pedro Raposo (Martha Hamilton and I. Wistar Morris III Executive Director, Library and Archives, The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University) and Paul Callomon (Collections Manager, Malacology, The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University), "People, Nature, and the Social Extension of Specimens"

Friday, May 5, 2023 2:30 pm EDT

“Being Natural”: Science, Environment, Sexuality and the Life of Marston Bates"
Megan Raby

Tuesday, May 9, 2023 12:00 pm EDT

Blind in Early Modern Japan: Disability, Medicine, and Identity

Wednesday, May 10, 2023 12:00 pm EDT


Thursday, May 11, 2023 1:00 pm EDT

Presenter 1: Dafne Cruz Porchini, Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), “The artist Fermín Revueltas and the Visual Imaginaries of Technology in Mexico: the mural Allegory of Productivity (1934)”

Friday, May 12, 2023 11:00 am EDT

"Aromatic Medicines and Divine Scents in Women's Medicine"
Wee-Siang Margaret Ng (College of Wooster)
Response: tbc

Friday, May 12, 2023 1:30 pm EDT

Dr. Helge Wendt, “Building materials from coal-waste. An extension of the history of energy in the interwar period in France and Germany.”

Monday, May 15, 2023 10:00 am EDT

Speaker: Dr Vijaya Deshpande
Title: TBA (on a Sanskrit work on alchemy.  See the BORI publication launch: )
Abstract: TBA

Tuesday, May 16, 2023 2:00 pm EDT

Natalia Gándara Chacana, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaiso, Chile

Tuesday, May 16, 2023 6:00 pm EDT

Patrick McCray, University of California, Santa Barbara

Thursday, May 18, 2023 11:30 am EDT

Virdi, J. (2020). Hearing Happiness: Deafness Cures in History. University of Chicago Press.


Friday, May 19, 2023 12:00 pm EDT

Group Discussion: Processing and Planning for Next Year

Tuesday, May 23, 2023 2:00 pm EDT

Anna Graber

Friday, May 26, 2023 12:00 pm EDT

Shireen Hamza (Harvard) and Eric Moses Gurevitch (Vanderbilt), "The Promise of Medieval Sciences, the Perils of Global History."

Thursday, June 8, 2023 12:00 pm EDT

During this meeting, we will discuss the "Research" section of the planned volume, featuring the following essays: 

  • Marco Ramos, "Red Tape"
  • Lauren MacIvor Thompson, "Legal Considerations"
  • Tracey Loughran, "Oral History"
  • Jonathan Sadowsky, "Difficult History"
  • Eli Nelson, "Indigenous Methodologies"
  • Stephen Casper, "Expert Witnessing"

The essay drafts will be uploaded on June 1. 

Friday, June 9, 2023 11:00 am EDT

"Who Is a Maker? Artisan Knowledge in Medieval India."
Eric Gurevitch (Vanderbilt)
Response: (tbc)

Friday, June 9, 2023 1:30 pm EDT

·      Tobah Aukland-Peck, “Mineral landscapes: The Mine and British Modernism.”
·      V. M. Roberts, “Grandpa Tallman’s Engine.”

Friday, June 23, 2023 12:00 pm EDT

Paper discussion
Siddhartha Mukherjee (Jawaharlal Nehru University), "Controlling the Currents: Electricity Crisis and State Response in Delhi during the Second World War"
Discussant: Victor Seow (Harvard University)

Friday, July 14, 2023 11:00 am EDT

[Summer break]

Friday, July 14, 2023 1:30 pm EDT

 James Allison,  “Seeing Coal: The Geologists, Local Actors, and Distant Capitalists that Industrialized Appalachia.”

Friday, August 11, 2023 11:00 am EDT

[Summer break]

Friday, September 8, 2023 11:00 am EDT

"Figuring Racial Difference in Early Nineteenth-Century France"
Stephanie O'Rourke (St Andrews)
Response: tbc

Friday, October 13, 2023 11:00 am EDT

"'The Männel is a root, it should be called an Allraune': A Mandrake, Magic, and Money in Seventeenth-Century Saxony"
Tara Nummedal (Brown)
Response: Alisha Rankin (Tufts)

Friday, November 10, 2023 11:00 am EST

"Marginal Recipes, Major Insights: Exploring the Manuscript Contexts of Early Medieval Medical Knowledge"
Claire Burridge (Sheffield)
Response: tbc

Friday, December 8, 2023 11:00 am EST

"Anatomy and the Early Académie Royale des Sciences"
Katherine Reinhart (Binghamton)
Response: tbc