Upcoming STS Events
Brown Bag Series for Spring 2013
What are you working on at the moment? The STS Program will provide a chance to discuss problems and methods in the field while also learning more about who is at Brown and what their research program and areas of expertise are.
- Thursday, February 7, 2013
Strother Roberts, ACLS New Faculty Fellow at Brown
"'Nature Afforded More Than Our Arts': Turpentining and the Limits of Empire as an Agent for Knowledge Diffusion in English Colonial North America"
In the early modern period, turpentine was a strategic commodity necessary for the construction and maintenance of national navies. This paper considers the failed attempts of English governments and entrepeneurs to introduce turpentining into North America during the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. It will focus on the limits of imperial policies to diffuse knowledge - especially through codified instruction - and the importance of migration for the successful transmission of production techniques in the early modern period.
- Thursday, March 21, 2013
Richard Parks, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at Brown
"French Universalism at the Imperial Limits: Tensions between Scientific and Cultural Universalism in Colonial Tunisia"
This talk will explore the limits of republican universalism in French-colonial Tunisia in the early twentieth century. I will discuss the contradictions of French colonial policy that on one hand preached cultural universalism, but on the other hand used science and medicine as a tool to particularize and balkanize ethnic and religious groups. This talk will be more of a discussion on how to frame these issues into a cohesive book aimed at a broad audience.
- Thursday, April 11, 2013
Paja Faudree, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Brown
"Magic Mint: A Field Report on the Global Salvia Trade"
This talk will discuss ongoing research into how linguistic and material practices shape global trade in Salvia divinorum, one of the world’s newest “drugs.” Used for centuries by Mexico’s indigenous Mazatec people in religious rituals, the plant has recently become a global commodity known simply as “salvia”; a hallucinogenic variety of mint, salvia is marketed as a potent and legal alternative to marijuana. I examine how linguistic and material exchanges by those involved with salvia – users, growers, shamans, vendors, biomedical researchers, politicians, and abolitionists – saturate the plant with social meaning, thereby shaping salvia's economic and symbolic circulation. By elucidating the dynamics through which salvia is given value, this work also has implications for many other cases where formally local “things” are inserted into complex trade networks and competing regimes of meaning.
* all Brown Bag Series will be held in the Science Center/Room 315 at the Sciences Library at 12noon.