2018-2019 STS Speaker Series

Imagining Animals Through Science


Animal Science & The American Civil War

To launch VCU’s Science, Technology, and Society 2018 speaker series, “Imagining Animals Through Science,” in conjunction with the Library of Virginia, this panel discussion will examine the complex relationships between Victorian Americans, science, and animals in the midst of such turbulent events as slavery, Civil War, and ecosystem decline.

Henry A. McGhie (Head of Collections and Curator of Zoology at Manchester Museum, University of Manchester) will address the rise of scientific ornithology and bird conservation in connection with Confederate blockades, and Abraham H. Gibson (NSF Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Biology and Society, Arizona State University) will detail the evolutionary and social history of domesticated animals, such as pigs, cattle, and horses that went feral.

Kathryn Shively Meier (author of Nature's Civil War) will moderate.

A reception precedes the event from 5:30-6:00pm, the panel runs from 6:00-7:30pm, and a book signing follows.

For more information, please see the Facebook event or contact kmeier@vcu.edu or (804) 828-8427.

Tuesday, September 18 2018
5:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Library of Virginia Lecture Hall
800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23219


Electricity in American Life and Letters

Electrification has touched nearly every aspect of American life. Between 1882 and 1952, it changed daily routines, inspired new art forms, revolutionized the fields of chemistry, biology, and physics—it even changed landscapes and ecosystems. The corporate and scientific dimensions of this history have been told; Dr. Jennifer Lieberman tells the narrative and cultural history. 

Discussing her book, Power Lines: Electricity in American Life and Letters, 1882-1952 (MIT Press, 2017), Lieberman will chronicle how electricity became a metaphor for modern American life in the late nineteenth century. Drawing on Science, Technology, and Society, American Studies, and literary studies, this talk—like the book—demonstrates the importance of studying technology and the humanities together. It will touch on such questions as: What does Jack London have to teach us about electrification--and how might his example help us understand the power outages in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria? How did writers and technologists reconcile fantasies about American individualism with a new emphasis on systems? How is this history usable—what can we learn from it today? 

Jennifer L. Lieberman is Associate Professor of English at the University of North Florida. An interdisciplinary scholar, she has held fellowships from the National Science Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution, the Bakken Library and Museum, and the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities. Her first book, Power Lines, was published by The MIT Press in July 2017, and her other work can be found in such journals as MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature in the US, History and Technology, Configurations, JLS: The Journal of Literature and Science, and Studies in the Novel. 

November 1, 2018
time to be determined

location to be determined