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


The seminar will take place throughout the academic year 2010-11 (from late August through early May), which will be divided into four eight-week periods corresponding to the four themes described below. In each period, the seminar will convene every other week for regular discussions, and each segment will be capped a theme-specific Symposium involving outside speakers. At the end of the academic year, the funded postdoctoral fellow and the two funded graduate students will organize a post-seminar capstone conference to consolidate accomplishments and identify future directions.

Activities during the regular seminar meetings will vary, but concentrate on discussions of (a) key scholarly works on a subject, and (b) manuscripts prepared by Core Faculty, by the postdoc and graduate students and by other workshop participants. For each session, at least two people will be assigned the role of Commentator, charged with the responsibility of getting the discussion underway. Theme leaders will be responsible for choosing assigned readings for each regular session, and the postdoc and graduate students will work together to compile an annotated "Seminar Bibliography." All reading materials will be made available on-line through IU's OnCourse system, which also provides opportunities for blogging and other means of communication in between face-to-face seminar meetings.

Regular participants will include the Convener, five Core Faculty, the funded postdoc and graduate students and three faculty members who will serve as local specialists (and will vary depending upon the theme). This group of twelve will be supplemented by graduate students drawn from throughout the Bloomington campus.