Rupture and Flow: The Circulation of Technoscientific Facts and Objects

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Sawyer Seminar on the Comparative Study of Cultures
Indiana University, Bloomington

Core Faculty


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Ilana Gershon

Ilana Gershon is assistant professor of performance and ethnography in the Department of Communication and Culture and adjunct professor in the Department of Anthropology at IU Bloomington. She received her Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of Chicago in 2001. Gershon has edited several special issues of journals, including "The Symbolic Capital of Ignorance" Social Analysis (2000) and "Reflexivity in Others' Contexts" Ethnos (2006). In her book /The Breakup 2.0 /(in press, Cornell UP), she addresses how people end relationships using new technologies. By focusing on breakups, she offers insights into the ways that people experience these new media as "new," particularly as they try to develop shared social etiquette for these innovative technologies. Gershon foregrounds the social dilemmas that emerge when shared expectations and etiquette are not yet in place for new communicative artifacts.


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Thomas Gieryn

Thomas F. Gieryn is Rudy Professor of Sociology at Indiana University, and Adjunct Professor in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science. He earned his Ph.D. at Columbia University in 1979, working with Robert K. Merton, Harriet Zuckerman and Jonathan R. Cole in the sociology of science. He is the author of Cultural Boundaries of Science: Credibility on the Line (University of Chicago Press, 1999), which won the Merton Best Book award from the Section on Science, Knowledge and Technology of the American Sociological Association. His current project is Truth-Spots: How Place Lends Legitimacy to Beliefs and Claim. He has been visiting professor in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at Cornell University and a member at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.


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Rebecca Lave

Rebecca Lave received her Ph.D. in 2008 from the University of California at Berkeley, under the supervision of Michael Watts and Michael Burawoy. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Geography at IU Bloomington, teaching courses on political ecology, environmental conservation, social theory and ecological restoration. Her work focuses on nature/society relations, particularly in relation to fresh water systems in the U.S., and the political economy of scientific expertise. Lave has written several articles and book chapters about the shifting boundary between public and private science. Her current research addresses the tensions among science, markets and the state in the nascent stream mitigation banking industry in North Carolina.


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Eden Medina

Eden Medina is assistant professor in the School of Informatics and Computing and adjunct assistant professor in the Department of History at IU Bloomington. Her research bridges the history of technology and the history of Latin America and asks how studies of technology can enrich our understanding of broader historical processes. Medina received her Ph.D. in the history and social study of science and technology from MIT in 2005 and completed an interdisciplinary dissertation on the history of Chilean computing and its relationship to state formation. Her current book manuscript Cybernetic Socialism tells the history of the Chilean Project Cybersyn, an early computer network designed to regulate Chile's economic transition to socialism during the government of Salvador Allende. She is the recipient of a 2007-2008 National Science Foundation Scholar's Award and the 2007 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Life Member's Prize for the best article of the year in electrical history. In 2005, she transformed her research into a multipart installation at the ZKM Center for Digital Art and Media as part of the "Making Things Public" exhibition curated by Bruno Latour and Peter Weibel. Medina is currently associate editor for the IEEE Annals of the History of Computing.


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Jutta Schickore

Jutta Schickore is associate professor in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science and adjunct professor in the Department of Philosophy at IU Bloomington. Before coming to IU, she held research fellowships at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom; the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology at MIT; and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. She works on methodological aspects of scientific experimentation, the history of physiology and vision studies, and the problem of error in science. Her publications include Going Amiss in Experimental Research (co-edited with G. Hon and F. Steinle), Dordrecht (2009); The Microscope and the Eye: A History of Reflections, 1740-1870, Chicago (2007), which won the Paul Bunge Prize of the German Chemical Society; Revisiting Discovery and Justification: The Context Distinction in Historical and Philosophical Perspective (co-edited with F. Steinle), Dordrecht (2006), as well as several articles in history and philosophy of science journals. Recent awards include a year-long membership at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton (2007-8) and the Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, IU Bloomington (2006).


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Kalpana Shankar

Kalpana Shankar is an assistant professor in the School of Informatics and Computing at IU Bloomington. She received her Ph.D. in library and information science at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she studied with Anne Gilliland (archival studies), Sharon Traweek (history, STS), and Leah Lievrouw (new media, STS). Her research projects focus on the uses of data and information (digital and otherwise) in scientific pedagogy, practice and policy. She has published in Journal of the American Society of Information Science and Technology, the Journal of Documentation and other journals. She is also a co-principal investigator on ETHOS (Ethical Technologies in the Homes of Seniors), a National Science Foundation-sponsored project to investigate privacy, aging and home-based technology. In 2008, she received a Multidisciplinary Research Opportunities for Women grant from the Computing Research Association. She was invited to be a visiting researcher at the Virtual Knowledge Studio in Amsterdam, where she pursued her current interests on the use of Web 2.0 and nontraditional data sources (such as amateur records and data) in scientific research.