Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Reply to comment

LS2's picture

Introduction

Hi, My name is Lucie. I grew up in New York City and now live off-campus in downtown Philadelphia. I am a senior, double-major in History of Art and Cultural Anthropology. After completing an Art History thesis that largely focused on museum studies last year, this year I am expanding upon some thoughts begun there for a thesis in Anthropology. My anthro thesis is based on my fieldwork as an intern and research assistant at Philadelphia’s Mutter Museum. As a museum of medical history that primarily displays the remains of human medical “anomalies,” the Mutter is an apt site for exploring how museums shape the manner in which we think about our bodies and about difference. Furthermore, as a relic of a time in which humanistic thought and scientific exploration were by and large conducted by the same people, the Mutter is also ripe for engaging the intersections of the humanities and the sciences that I believe we will explore in this class. I am looking forward to learning more about the history of science, as well as about how evolutionary theory has informed the stories we tell about ourselves on a broader scale.  Sidebar: I am looking for some people to participate in a survey I am conducting at the museum. Please let me know if you can help me out! I also encourage everyone to visit the Mutter in general—it is a very unique experience not to be missed during your time near Philadelphia, and I'd be happy to show you around.  Some initial questions include:

-Both historically and currently, how important is stylistic flair in scientific writing? If, historically, science has attempted to obscure the subjectivity of its claims,  what is the role of The Author in writing about empiricisms?

                -On an aesthetic level, how do we know what the world and species looked like pre-us? I know that fossils can provide some insight into the shape and perhaps texture of early species, but how do the people creating the renderings of dinosaurs, etc  for natural history museums know, say, what color animals were then? Are these just approximations?

                -Has, and if so, how, the story and implications of evolution participated in the production of prejudicial and marginalizing tendencies in our society? More generally, what role does science play in the formation of (sometimes pernicious) cultural norms?

 

Reply

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
2 + 3 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.