Home > history of science, hps, mcgill, philosophy of science > HPS: Cornelius Brock Talks, Schedule, Cancelled Talk

HPS: Cornelius Brock Talks, Schedule, Cancelled Talk

February 27, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Please note that our friend and colleague Cornelius Borck will be giving TWO
talks next week, both in the Don Bates Room.

The first is for the series on Weimar Culture, on Tuesday 4 March, at 5pm,
and is entitled

“Modernizing the human body in Weimar Germany: popular anatomy between
Bauhaus and Neue Sachlichkeit”.

The second is part of the HPS series, and is co-sponsored by Cornelius’s
other former department, Art History and Communication Studies. This one is
on Thursday, 6 March, at 5:30pm, again in the Don Bates Room:

Perception Infra Ordinaire: Art and Science in the Borderlands of the
Imperceptible and the Everyday


Sometimes, new scientific phenomena and theories arise from failures rather
than breakthroughs. Accidents, disturbances, or contaminations undermine the
experimental design and force the observer’s attention in a particular
direction. Such failures, however, amount to more but lost data if and only
if they manifest a resistance against a set of more or less specified
assumptions. Only against a background of normalization and standardization,
something new may emerge as a deviation from the assumed paths of mediation.
In this perspective, the extra-ordinary does not occur as a spectacular
event but must rather be conceived of as resulting from increased attention
for minimal aberrations and incremental alterations – from the infra
ordinary. This notion I borrow from the French experimental writer Georges
Perec who introduced the infra ordinaire as the phenomenon which is
invisible because of its common occurrence, its ordinary presence in
everyday life. If the attention for failures is a necessary precondition for
creative scientific practices, the question arises how erring may become
perceptible and turn productive – and this points to an intriguing bordering
of scientific practices into the aesthetic domain. Is there an aesthetics of
failure that can be explored and exploited for an experimental epistemology?

I hope that as many of you as possible will be able to come to both!

Full details of this term’s HPS series are below:

McGill University
History and Philosophy of Science
Histoire et philosophie des sciences

This term the McGill HPS series continues with three seminars, and a public

All are welcome. Please note the variations in day and time.

Ce semestre, notre série continue, avec trois conférences en format atelier,
et une conférence publique.

Ouvert à tou(te)s. Veuillez noter les changements d’horaire et de jour.

Seminar series Winter 2008 / Série d’hiver 2008

Thursday / jeudi, 6 March / mars, 5:30pm

Cornelius Borck (University of Lübeck)

Perception Infra Ordinaire: Art and Science in the Borderlands of the
Imperceptible and the Everyday

(co-sponsored by the department of Art History and Communication Studies)

* Friday / vendredi, 28 March / mars, 4:30pm * [note day and time]

Sofie Lachapelle (University of Guelph)

In the Lab with Psychologists: Testing Magicians and Mediums in Early
20th-Century France

Thursday / jeudi, 10 April / avril, 5:30pm

Nick Wilding (Georgia State)

Of Telescopes and Angels: the Theological Origins of Early Modern Cyborgs

The above seminars will be held in the / Les conférences auront lieu au

Don Bates Seminar Room,

Social Studies of Medicine Building,

3647 rue Peel (above Dr Penfield).

For abstracts of seminar talks, see / Pour en savoir plus, consultez:


* * *

Public Lecture

Mini-Beatty Memorial Lecture

sponsored by the McGill Centre for Research and Teaching on Women,

co-sponsored with Social Studies of Medicine and McGill HPS

Tuesday 25 March, 6pm / mardi 25 mars, 18h:

Nancy Tuana

(Penn State University)

Bringing Humanities to Science Policy:

The IPCC and the Ethical Dimensions of Climate Change

Stewart Biology Building, 1205 Dr Penfield, Rm S14

* * *

Please note that the previously-announced talk by Gianna Pomata, scheduled
for March 3rd, has been cancelled.

Veuillez noter que la conférence annoncée de Gianna Pomata (pour le 3 mars)
a été annullé.

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