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Products for grant RA-269826-20

RA-269826-20
Long-Term Research Fellowships at the Consortium for History of Science, Technology & Medicine
Babak Ashrafi, Consortium for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine

Grant details: https://apps.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=RA-269826-20

Rethinking Homelessness and Urban Poverty in Los Angeles and Beyond (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Rethinking Homelessness and Urban Poverty in Los Angeles and Beyond
Author: Nic John Ramos
Abstract: This roundtable considers the vexing issue of homelessness and urban poverty in Los Angeles and the Bronx. It foregrounds homelessness as a key crisis exacerbated by these uncertain times that far from being exceptional reveals a continuity with post WWII policies and trends. The panel explores two under-examined causes of homelessness, war and the antipathy of people who identify as queer, and how these forces ghettoized refugees, asylum seekers, and people who identify as queer in homeless districts nationwide such as Skid Row, Los Angeles and select communities in the Bronx.
Date: 4/1/23
Primary URL: https://www.oah.org/meetings-events/oah23/view-meeting-session/4826
Primary URL Description: webpage for session held at 2023 OAH conference
Conference Name: 2023 Organization of Aerican Historians (OAH) Conference on American History

Take Chances! Make Mistakes! Get Messy!: The Magic School Bus and the Reanimation of Science Education, (Conference/Institute/Seminar)
Title: Take Chances! Make Mistakes! Get Messy!: The Magic School Bus and the Reanimation of Science Education,
Author: Matthew Wisnioski
Abstract: This presentation was a first synthesis of archival material collected as a fellow in Spring 2022; I showcased the conceptual framework developed during my fellowship, highlighted key findings from the archives, and refined the structure I will utilize in the book under development. In the mid-1990s, a crazy-haired teacher named Ms. Frizzle took children on field trips inside the human body and to the outer reaches of space. The Magic School Bus was a centerpiece experiment to reinvigorate American science education that became a global phenomenon. The television series’ catchphrase, “Take Chances! Make Mistakes! Get Messy!” suggested new ways of getting children excited about science. In contrast to a white-coated man performing demonstrations, the show used cartoon animation to help viewers experience science in action and to allowed the children to venture into unreachable environments and imagined worlds. Along the way, Ms. Frizzle encouraged kids to take risks, to fail, and to find patterns. Beyond its pedagogical innovations, The Magic School Bus was an experiment in how to pay for the technoscientific future. The show resulted from a public-private “synergy” between government agencies, commercial publishers and broadcasters, high tech companies, and even McDonald’s. It combined science education with CD-ROM software, a traveling show, and a clothing line. In this talk, I use The Magic School Bus to analyze “edutainment” and science education reform in the late-20th century. I explore how in content and in form, The Magic School Bus contributed to an emerging model of “STEM” education in a fraught era for science.
Date Range: 6/24/2022
Location: Centre Alexandre-Koyré - CAK École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris, France,
Primary URL: https://www.ehess.fr/fr/personne/matthew-wisnioski
Primary URL Description: webpage of upcoming conferences for ehess (ecole des hautes etudes en sciences)

“Towards a New Genealogy of Eugenics: Slavery and the Study of Race Crossing,” (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: “Towards a New Genealogy of Eugenics: Slavery and the Study of Race Crossing,”
Abstract: This talk examines how ideas about race from the era of slavery informed white eugenicists’ approaches to studying race crossing in the early twentieth century. I focus on the differing methods employed by American eugenicist, Charles B. Davenport, and British eugenicist, Karl Pearson, to study the heredity of skin color in “Black and white racial hybrids.” The tension that arose between these scientists’ opposing views on the heredity of skin color occasionally played out in the pages of academic journals, and it serves as my point of entry for examining how each scientist staked their claim as an expert based on data derived from the close inspection of mixed-race people’s bodies. Moreover, because both Davenport and Pearson relied on data from Britain’s Caribbean colonies, much of the genealogies that appeared in their studies represented an extraction of intimate personal family histories from colonized groups of people not so far removed from slavery’s traumas. Finally, this talk will show that no matter how different Davenport and Pearson were in their approach to assessing the heredity of mixed-race skin color, they shared the underlying assumption that Blackness could be reduced to a trait and made legible through careful study.
Author: Rana Hogarth
Date: 04/03/2023
Location: Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
Primary URL: https://medicine.yale.edu/news-article/towards-a-new-genealogy-of-eugenics-slavery-and-the-study-of-race-crossing/
Primary URL Description: Webpage announcement of the Elias E. Manuelidis Memorial Lecture in the History of Medicine and Science

“Expertise, Eugenics, and the Legacies of Slavery: Studying Race Crossing in the early 20th Century” (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: “Expertise, Eugenics, and the Legacies of Slavery: Studying Race Crossing in the early 20th Century”
Abstract: Scientific endeavors to study mixed race people with Black and white ancestry in the early twentieth century did not emerge in a vacuum, nor did ideas about race that would later undergird eugenic race crossing studies on that very group of people. Slavery gave rise to myths and taxonomies that would come to dominate lay and scientific perceptions of mixed race people’s bodies for years to come. Moreover, slavery facilitated the often violent contexts in which racial intermixture took place across generations in the Americas. In this talk, I discuss how the anti-Black racism that circulated before and after slavery’s demise became constitutive of a kind of biological determinism that rested on faulty, but enduring ideas— namely that race is an element of biology; that degrees of Black ancestry in a mixed race person can be made legible; mapped on to their bodies through examination and quantification. These ideas steered the trajectory of eugenic research into race crossing, generating debate and elevating the careers of a number of biologists, physicians, statisticians, anthropologists, and others who aligned themselves with eugenics. As they collected family pedigrees, measured skin color, hair texture, rates of disease, physical form and function, these eugenicists relied on racial logic from the slavery era that held Blackness to be a constellation of discrete bodily features and dispositions. Thus this talk will highlight slavery’s little studied role in the development of eugenicists’ opinions about the fitness of mixed race people with Black and white ancestry in the Americas.
Author: Rana Hogarth
Date: 12/6/2022
Location: Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Primary URL: https://history.princeton.edu/news-events/events/expertise-eugenics-and-legacies-slavery-studying-race-crossing-early-20th-century
Primary URL Description: Webpage of announcement for History of Science Colloqioum,


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