Knowledge in Displacement: Emigration and Exile in the History of Mid-Twentieth Century Science
A Symposium to be held at the 25th International Congress of History of Science and Technology in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 23-29 July 2017.
Understanding the economy of scientific production in its global dimensions has become a priority for scholars in our field. In order to join efforts to rethink the history of science outside of national(ist) frameworks, this two-session symposium invites reappraisal of a key moment in the formation of transnational scientific networks: the emigration (and remigration) of European scientists to the Americas in the decades surrounding World War II.
The outsized contribution of émigré scientists in the development of physics during and after the War is already well established. But what about other fields? Our symposium’s focus will be on those areas of research which were conceptualized or institutionalized as sciences largely in this time period, including the cultural, human and life sciences. Our goal is to understand how migration changed the concept of science itself and explore its complex relation to the formation of a Cold War rationality that extended quantitative and/or positivist methodologies beyond the physical sciences. In so doing, we wish to address questions of broad significance to a transnational history of science: How does the position of emigrant, foreigner, exile, or refugee structure scientific interests, strategies, and productions? What are the conditions of possibility—or failure—for the transplantation, translation, and refashioning of the émigré scientist? And how can we understand and theorize the relation between the uprooting of people and scientific paradigms, between cultural estrangement and scientific creativity?
We invite contributions investigating the linguistic, cultural, economic, institutional, and/or political aspects of the scientific life in displacement in their relation to the process of disciplinary formation during the middle decades of the twentieth century. Papers on émigré historians or philosophers of science will be considered alongside those on the cultural, social, or life sciences. We are particularly interested in proposals reflecting upon the ways in which this particular moment in the history of scientific emigration helps us rethink scientific emigration in other times and places, e.g. displacements between colonial centers and peripheries, between privileged and impoverished systems of research and higher education, or between war-torn and (temporarily) secured areas of the world.
Please send proposals for 20-minute presentations with abstract of no more than 350 words and brief biographic information to Sascha Freyberg (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Antoine Lentacker (email@example.com) by **28 November 2016.** For any additional information, feel free to contact us or consult the website of the ICHST at http://www.ichst2017.sbhc.org.br/.