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Department Events

Brown Bags

Brown Bag talks take place at Noon on Fridays. A schedule of upcoming History of Science Brown Bags can be viewed on the History Department Events web page.

February 8 (Friday) at 3:00 pm

Colloquium: Domenico Bertoloni Meli, Indiana University
Title: “Visualizing Disease: Changing Perspectives in Pathological Iconography.”

Location: 984 Memorial Library (Special Collections).
April 11 (Thursday) at 1:00 pm

Fifth Annual Bioethics Symposium
The theme of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health’s Fifth Annual Bioethics Symposium is “Ethical Issues in Obesity.” Taking place from 1pm to 5:30pm, this event will feature discussion and presentations for students, faculty, health care providers and the community. Admission is free.

Location: Health Sciences Learning Center (HSLC), Room 1306

Unable to attend? Watch these video streams from the symposium.
May 3 (Friday) at 9:30 am

Sawyer Seminar on the Comparative Study of Cultures - Capstone Conference
Title: “BIOPOLITICS: Life in Past and Present.” (Event Poster)

Location: Memorial Library Room 126, 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM (Day 1)

Convened by Sara Guyer & Richard C. Keller. This seminar is sponsored through the generous funding of the A.W. Mellon Foundation's John E. Sawyer Seminars program, and is also supported by the UW-Madison Center for the Humanities and the College of Letters & Science. This series explores the mutually productive spheres of politics and the life sciences. Prominent and emerging scholars from diverse fields distribute works-in-progress prior to the seminar and give brief presentations, leaving much room for active discussion.

More information at
May 4 (Saturday) at 9:30 am

Sawyer Seminar on the Comparative Study of Cultures - Capstone Conference
Title: “BIOPOLITICS: Life in Past and Present.”

Location: University Club Building Room 313, 9:30 AM - 1:00 PM (Day 2)
May 6 (Monday) at Noon

Talk: Dr. Neil Pemberton, University of Manchester
Title: “The House of Murder: The Christie Investigation and the Making of the Modern Crime Scene in Twentieth-Century Britain.”

Location: MSC 1490

This paper is part of an on-going research project on the history of homicide investigation in twentieth-century England. The project involves two main strands: (1) developments in techniques and working practices of forensic pathological investigation; and (2) developments in “crime scene” investigation driven by forensic science. Its working hypothesis is that, over the course of the century, the latter model of trace-oriented and team-driven investigation made inroads into the status of the pathologist. However, this is not a linear story, in which a forensics of bodies was ultimately eclipsed by a forensics of things. Instead, the relationship is better characterised as a dynamic interplay between two sets of practices, personnel, and spaces. These new frameworks - full of both promise and potential tension - were tested in response to practical cases - nowhere more so than in cases involving high-profile murders. This paper will analyse one such testing inv estigation, linked to one of the most famous homicide cases of the twentieth century - the case of John Reginald Halliday Christie.

At the center of the Christie case stood a house: 10 Rillington Place, a dingy Victorian tenement in a non-descript Notting Hill cul-de-sac. The probing of this space by investigators transformed it into a macabre excavation site, in which a forensics of bodies and things were thrown together in a collaborative exercise. Focusing in detail on the recovery and analysis of bodies and traces enables us to see how these two forensic enterprises interacted to generate knowledge from their encounters with the material world of number 10.

Refreshments will be served!
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