Judith Kaplan

Ph.D., Department of History of Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison

2020 to 2021
Research Fellow

Comparative-Historical Linguistics and the Body

This project restores the understudied field of linguistics to the historiography of science, sheds light on the politics of studying human ancestral relations, and explores the status of evidentiary and methodological criteria in the language sciences over roughly the last 150 years. Specifically, it considers the rise of physical and embodied approaches to research on human language since the late nineteenth century—from the acoustic dimension of “living language,” to the evolutionary study of gestural communication, to the use of sensory stimuli in linguistic fieldwork. The project is aligned with the Consortium's “Science and the Senses” working group, and it will result in the completion of a series of publications engaging the history of the humanities, sound studies, human subjects research, and the disciplinary historiography of linguistics.