History And Philosophy Of Science | Voyages of Scientific Discovery: 1750 to the present
X621 | 2995 | Sorrenson


Scientific voyages of the last three centuries operated within complex
and interrelated domains of scientific, nationalistic, artistic and
literary concerns.  Launched to satisfy curiosity about the globe and
its contents, to acquire new imperial possessions, to create discovery
narratives and images, and eventually to leave behind the earth and
the ocean's surface, vessels returned home with cargoes of specimens,
journals, artifacts, maps, and images that, when digested and
analyzed, represented the edges of the New World to the metropolitan
centers of the Old.
Having examined some of their scientific,imperial,and representational
preconditions we shall study the following voyages:
Bougainville (to Tahiti), Cook and Forester (to the Pacific),
Bartram (to the SE of the US), Lewis & Clark )to the Pacific),
Humboldt (to the Americas), and Darwin (to S. America).
If you are thinking of taking this course, please ask me for a copy of
a draft syllabus.  Apart from those in History and Philosophy of
Science I would hope that History, Art History and English graduate
students might enroll since no specific scientific expertise is needed
to intepret the readings and we shall take imperial, artistic, and
literary contexts into consideration.  The readings themselves tend to
deal with the sciences of geography and ethnography; graduate students
from Anthropology and Geography, in particular, might wish to take
this opportunity to learn more about the history of their disciplines
as they were practiced in the field.  We will spend about 8 weeks
reading together, then break for 2 weeks to prepare drafts of papers (
you may select any appropriate voyage from the last three centuries),
and then return to present our papers to each other for 2 - 3 weeks,
and then break to revise the papers in light of the suggestions of the
seminar.  The last time I taught this seminar, one student's paper
ended up being published in the British Journal for the History of
Science.  I hope to repeat this publication success.

Time and Day:  3:00p.m. - 5:30p.m.  W
Place:  Goodbody Hall 107