Working Groups

The Consortium invites area scholars to join several topical working groups for challenging and collegial discussion of interesting publications in their fields and of each others’ works-in-progress. Please contact the conveners if you would like to participate in one or more of the groups.

Each of the groups meets one evening or afternoon each month at the Consortium offices in Philadelphia. Scholars located anywhere can also participate online. The regular meeting days are as follows, but be sure to check each group's individual schedule for changes.

1stHistory & TheoryPhysical SciencesEarth & Environmental Sciences
2ndLife Sciences and Natural HistoryHistory & Philosophy of ScienceEarly ScienceScience Beyond the West
3rdTechnologyHuman SciencesMedicine and Health

Upcoming Meetings

Earth and Environmental Sciences

March 27, 2015

Note Special Date. Jeremy Vetter of the University of Arizona will introduce his paper, “Field Stations and the Problem of Scale: Local, Regional, and Global at the Desert Lab”


March 31, 2015

Note Special Date. Nathan Ensmenger of Indiana University will introduce his paper, “Dirty Bits: An Environmental History of Computing.”

Physical Sciences

April 1, 2015

Andrew Zangwill, Georgia Tech TBA

History and Theory

April 7, 2015

The group will discuss selections from You Must Change Your Life by Peter Sloterdijk. Further details TBA.

History and Philosophy of Science

April 8, 2015

The group will discuss Chapters 6 and 7 of Daston and Galison's Objectivity. Kevin Connolly of UPenn will introduce Chapter 6 and Flavia Padovani of Drexel University will introduce Chapter 7.

Early Sciences

April 9, 2015


Science Beyond the West

April 10, 2015

The group will discuss Roberto Chauca of the University of Florida's draft dissertation chapter, "Missionary Foundational Narratives and the Ambiguous Naming of Amazonia."

Life Sciences and Natural History

April 14, 2015

Lijing Jiang, Postdoc, Nanyang Technological University will introduce selections from Animals on Display (eds. Liv Emma Thorsen, Karen Rader, and Adam Dodd; Penn State University Press, 2013) with special guest participant Henry McGhie (Manchester Museum, UK).

Human Sciences

April 15, 2015


Medicine and Health

April 17, 2015

A discussion between two authors who have recently written books about pain: Keith Wailoo, the author of Pain: A Political History, and Joanna Bourke, the author of The Story of Pain: From Prayer to Painkillers. Keith will comment on Joanna’s book, Joanna on Keith’s, and then we will open the floor for questions from the seminar participants.

From the Malacology collection, one of the largest in the world. Image courtesy of The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University/Corbis.