General Information / All sections
- Course description
Time: Monday, Friday 15:20-16:20
"In an inquiry concerning the improvement of society," wrote Thomas Malthus in his much-expanded Essay on the Principle of Population, "the mode of conducting the subject which naturally presents itself, is, 1. To investigate the causes that have hitherto impeded the progress of mankind towards happiness; and, 2. To examine the probability of the total or partial removal of these causes in future." The key term here is not "happiness," but "probability," for to understand the legacy of Malthus and other major figures in the rise of the social sciences, we need to look at the myriad ways that counting, measuring, and calculating became central to academic scholarship as a public good in the nineteenth century. Our historical tasks are intellectual and cultural more than technical, yet we cannot properly appreciate the present role of the quantitative social sciences without investigating how statistics, mensuration, regulation, and accounting acquired their status against a broader background of contested scientific rationalism and uneven technological development.
This is not a historical tour of the social sciences so much as it is an investigation of how the many modes of counting have been elevated to scholarly virtues and state-driven practices, as well as how historical contexts have shaped the scope and claims of the social sciences. This will be a Eurocentric course, but not one whose center of gravity lies somewhere in the English Channel. We will try to strike a balance between an introduction to comparatively canonical Anglophone topics and the exploration of broader connections throughout Central and Eastern Europe. Once the regional language skills of the students enrolled have been established, we will attempt to adjust the readings and discussions to better reflect regional concerns.
Spontaneous 10-minute quizzes (two): 5% + 5% (This is a low-key exercise that is solely intended to motivate accountability with the readings. It will consist of several brief responses to questions raised in recent sessions.)
Midterm exam (in class): 25% (See session 13 for description.)
Presentation: 15% (Developed in consultation with the instructor, this will give students a chance to tie one of the course topics more closely to their own research interests. In-class time: 15 minutes.)
Participation: 15% (Warm bodies who stay awake in class.)
Review essay (2000-2500 words): 35% (The topic may, but need not, grow out of the presentation exercise. Based on modest additional reading of secondary literature, students will survey a related topic and write a synthetic historiographical essay.)
-  January 10 - Science, technology, and European integration
Arne Hessenbruch, "Bottlenecks: 18th century science and the nation state," in Mendoza et al., eds., The Spread of the Scientific Revolution in the European Periphery, Latin America and East Asia (2000), 11-31.
Making Europe: Technology and Transformations, 1850-2000, 6 vols. (2014-2019). [CEU Library]Kiran Klaus Patel and Johan Schot, “Twisted Paths to European Integration: Comparing Agriculture and Transport Policies in a Transnational Perspective,” Contemporary European History 20 (2011): 383–403.Karl Hall, "Europe and Russia," in Heilbron, ed., The Oxford Companion to the History of Modern Science (2003), 279-282.
-  January 14 - The slogan of the day is uniformity
Ken Alder, "A revolution to measure: The political economy of the metric system in France," in M. Norton Wise, ed., The Values of Precision (1995), 39-71.
Ken Alder, Engineering the Revolution: Arms and Enlightenment in France, 1763-1815 (1997).
Henry Hennessy, On a Uniform System of Weights, Measures, and Coins for All Nations (1858), 3–30.
Simon Schaffer, “Metrology, metrication, and Victorian values,” in Victorian Science in Context, ed. Bernard Lightman (1997), 438–474.Witold Kula, Measures and Men (1986).
-  January 17 - Natural philosophy and republican politics
Further resources:Myles W. Jackson, “A Spectrum of Belief: Goethe’s ‘Republic’ versus Newtonian ‘Despotism,’” Social Studies of Science 24 (1994): 673–701.
-  January 21 - Malthusian dilemmas
Thomas Malthus, "An Essay on the Principle of Population, as it affects the future Improvement of Society," The Monthly Review (September 1798): 1-9. [Later editions in French, German, Hungarian, Polish, Russian] [a Czech summary]
Mary Poovey, "Thomas Malthus and the revaluation of numerical representation," in A History of the Modern Fact: Problems of Knowledge in the Sciences of Wealth and Society (1998), 278-295.
-  January 24 - Political economy as the "master-science of civil life"
Friedrich List, "The theory of productive forces and the theory of values," National System of Political Economy (1856 ), 208-228. [original German text]
Philip Mirowski, More Heat Than Light: Economics as Social Physics, Physics as Nature's Economics (1989).
-  January 28 - Tragedies of development
Thomas Carlyle, “Signs of the times,” Edinburgh Review 49 no. 98 (June 1829): 439–459.
Marx and Engels, "He becomes an appendage of the machine," in section 1, "Bourgeois and proletarians," from The Communist Manifesto (1848). [Read this whole section, but concentrate on the middle portion, where they spell out their position on machinery.] [Feel free to read this in any one of eighty languages.] [If you prefer, you may read the earliest English translation in The Red Republican (November 1850): 161–190 (passim).]Further resources:
Donald Mackenzie, "Marx and the Machine," Technology and Culture 25 (1984): 473-502.
Bruce Bimber, "Karl Marx and the three faces of technological determinism," Social Studies of Science 20 (1990): 333-351.
-  January 31 - The granary of science
Charles Babbage, “On the advantage of a Collection of Numbers, to be entitled the Constants of Nature and of Art," Edinburgh Journal of Science n.s. 6 (1832): 334-340.
Ian Hacking, "The granary of science," The Taming of Chance (1990), 55-63.
-  February 4 - Statistics and cultural betterment
[John Herschel], "Quetelet on probabilities," The Edinburgh Review 92 (1850): 1-8. (The introductory pages from a much longer review essay)
Michael Donnelly, "From political arithmetic to social statistics: How some nineteenth-century roots of the social sciences were implanted," in Johan Heilbron et al., eds., The Rise of the Social Sciences and the Formation of Modernity (1998), 225-239.
-  February 7 - The personal equation
Simon Schaffer, "Astronomers mark time: Discipline and the personal equation," Science in Context 2 (1988): 115-145.
Further resources:Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, “Gender, Culture, and Astrophysical Fieldwork: Elizabeth Campbell and the Lick Observatory–Crocker Eclipse Expeditions,” Osiris 11 (1996): 17–43.Christoph Hoffmann, “Constant Differences: Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel, the Concept of the Observer in Early Nineteenth-Century Practical Astronomy and the History of the Personal Equation,” The British Journal for the History of Science 40 (2007): 333–65.
-  February 11 - Beyond the doctrines of chance and necessary connexion
Henry Thomas Buckle, "General introduction," History of Civilization in England, vol. 1, 3rd ed. (1861), 1-18. [Czech translation (PDF)] [German translation] [Hungarian translation (PDF)] [Russian translation] [Polish translation] [French translation] [There is a 1919 abridged Ukrainian translation]
-  February 14 - The photographic perspective
Bill presented to the Chamber of Deputies, France, June 15, 1839.
Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison, "The Image of Objectivity," Representations 40 (1992): 81-128.
Further resources:Jimena Canales, “Photogenic Venus: The ‘Cinematographic Turn’ and Its Alternatives in Nineteenth‐Century France” Isis 93 (2002): 585–613.
(Image from an 1865 Hungarian account of photography)
-  February 18 - Auditorium and spectatorium
Alternate Czech reading: Purkyně's speech on opening the physiology institute in Prague (1851).
(Image from J. E. Purkyně, Observations and Experiments on the Physiology of the Senses, vol. 2 [Berlin, 1825])
-  February 21 - Midterm exam
The midterm exam will take place in class, consisting of around ten short-answer questions, and one longer essay, where you may choose one of two options.
-  February 25 - Revolutionary feelings
Ivan Turgenev, "[Bazarov's frogs]," Fathers and Sons (1862).
Victoria Frede, "Radicals and feelings: The 1860s," in Interpreting Emotions in Russia and Eastern Europe, eds. M. Steinberg and V. Sobol (2011), 62-81.
Valeria Sobol, "Febris erotica: Aleksandr Herzen's post-Romantic physiology," Slavic Review 65 (2006): 502-522.
-  February 28 - Markers of progress: The Crystal Palace exhibition
N. G. Chernyshevskii, excerpt from "Vera Pavlovna's Fourth Dream," from What Is to Be Done? (1863).
F. M. Dostoevsky, from Winter Notes on Summer Impressions (1863).
Wolfgang Schivelbusch, “The space of glass architecture,” The Railway Journey (1986), 50–56.
Katia Dianina, "Passage to Europe: Dostoevskii in the St. Petersburg Arcade," Slavic Review 62 (2003): 237–257.
John R. Davis, The Great Exhibition (1999)
Jeffrey A. Auerbach, The Great Exhibition of 1851: A nation on display (1999)
Zsuzsa Farkas, “A kultúra tövébe fészkelt ország: A világkiállításokon bemutatott magyar művek kortárs értékelése, 1851-1878,” Aetas 27 (2012): 136-158.
Anthony Swift, "Russia and the Great Exhibition of 1851: Representations, perceptions, and a missed opportunity," Jahrb. f. Geschichte Osteuropas 55 (2007): 242-263.
V. Aronov, "Rossiia na pervoi Vsemirnoi vystavke," Artkommunalka (2009).
Geoffrey Cantor, "Science, providence, and progress at the Great Exhibition," Isis 103 (2012): 439-459.
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-  March 4 - Crystal Palace primary source presentationsPlease choose ONE set of readings from any single language, and come to class prepared to present the views of the author.
German/Austrian/Swiss: Pester Zeitung: "Die Londoner Ausstellung" (6 May 1851; 13 May 1851; 16 May 1851); "Aus dem Krystallpalast" (3 July 1851).
Pester Lloyd: "Briefe über den Krystallpalast in Sydenham" (10 June 1854; 21 June 1854).
"Die Bedeutung der Industrie-Ausstellung in London," Berlinsche Zeitung (1 May 1851).
H. Scherer, Londoner Briefe über die Weltausstellung (Leipzig 1851: excerpts).
"Die Industrieausstellung aller Nationen in London," Appenzeller Kalender (1852).
"Die appenzellische Industrie an der grossen Ausstellung in London im Jahre 1851," Appenzellische Jahrbücher (1854): 73-85.
Hungarian: Korizmics, "A londoni iparműkiállitásról," Gazdasági lapok 43, 45 (26 October and 9 November 1851), 999-1007, 1047-1060.
Pesti Napló: "Körút a világban, a londoni iparkiállitásnál" (435–443, August 1851) (actually a translation from Revue des deux Mondes )
Vasarnapi Újság: A sydenhami palota and Az angol nép palotája (the second incarnation at Sydenham)
Polish: Biblioteka Warszawska: "Wystawa powszechna v Londynie" (vol. 2, 1851; the first installment of a long report; part 2 is included in folder, but not assigned). [If you want to read online, see part 1 (p. 535) and part 2 (111).]
Czas (Kraków): 5 May 1851 , 6 May 1851 (p. 2), 7 May 1851 , 9 May 1851 , 10 May 1851, 13 May 1851, 14 May 1851, 15 May 1851, 16 May 1851, 20 May 1851, 21 May 1851, 22 May 1851 (p. 2) (these are fairly brief newspaper articles; see how far you can get) [Note: DJVu reader needed.]
Czech: "Oddělení ruské na Londýnské výstavé," Vesna (8 July 1851 and 10 July 1851).
Jan Krejčí: Světová průmyslová výstava (1862; this is primarily about the 1862 International Exhibition, but with comparisons to its 1851 predecessor)
Croatian: "Londonska izložba," Narodne novine (4 August 1851, 8 August 1851, 10 August 1851, 17 August 1851).
Russian: Friedlander, "Второе донесение о посещении лондонской всемирной выставки," Zhurnal ministerstva narodnago prosveshcheniia (1851; see first report as time permits).
Modest Kittary, "Лондонская всемирная выставка," Otechestvennye zapiski 78 sect. VIII (1851): 45 and 127 (parts 2 and 3) [start at p. 730 in the online pagination].
Ottoman Turkish: Seyahatname i Londra (Constantinople, 1853)
English: Illustrated London News: "The Old and New Holy Alliance" (7 June 1851); "The Contributions of Russia" (21 June 1851); "The Contributions of Turkey" (21 June 1851)
The Illustrated Exhibitor: "Russia" (26 July 1851)
W. C. Rives, "The Great Exhibition - The American Department," The New York Times (31 October 1851).
Dutch: K, "Na de Algemeene Tentoonstelling," De Gids 15 (September 1851): 695.
Swedish: "Sens moral af verldexpositionen," Friskytten (21 June 1851).
French: "Le tour du monde a l'Exposition de Londres," Revue des deux Mondes (July 1851).
Italian: G. Suzzara, L'Italiano a Londra durante l'esposizione: Cenni storici descrittivi (Milan, 1851).
(For the curious, you can find a description of the opening ceremonies in The Leader for 3 May 1851.)
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-  March 7 - Arteries of the city
-  March 11 - Beer and thermodynamics
Take a brief walk through a late-eighteenth-century beer brewery and think about the potential challenges when scaling up such an enterprise for a burgeoning urban population. How might the process go awry?
Now read ONE of these brief sources and come to class prepared to discuss what kinds of knowledge and/or skill might be required for successful modern brewing:
S. F. Hermbstaedt, "Einleitung," Chemische Grundsätze der Kunst, Bier zu brauen (1826), 3-5.
Antonín Bělohoubek, "Úvod," Pivovarnictví (1874), 13-16.
J. N. Kurowski, "Przedmowa," O warzeniu piwa podług najnowszych odkryć (1837), III-IX.
Н. Витт, Пиво и его приготовление (1863), 1-8.
William Black, "Introduction," A Practical Treatise on Brewing, Based on Chemical and Economical Principles, 3rd. ed. (1844), 1-6.
G. Lacambre, "Préface," Traité complet de la fabrication des bières (1851), I-VI.
James Joule, "On matter, living force, and heat" (1847).
James Sumner, Brewing Science, Technology & Print, 1700-1880 (2013).
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-  March 14 - Facts and errors
-  March 18 - Visualizing statistics
-  March 21 - Precision sciences of empire
-  March 25 - Measures of labor
Anson Rabinbach, The Human Motor: Energy, Fatigue, and the Origins of Modernity (1990), chapter 5.
Nathan Zuntz and Wilhelm Schumburg, Studien zu einer Physiologie des Marsches (1901).
Josefa Ioteyko, The Science of Labour and Its Organization (1919).
Jennifer Karns Alexander, The Mantra of Efficiency: From Waterwheel to Social Control (2008).
-  March 28 - Laboratory and factory
I. P. Pavlov, "The Science Institute in memory of 27 February 1917," Free Association for the Development and Dissemination of the Positive Sciences (1917), 25-28. (Russian source)
Daniel P. Todes, “Pavlov’s physiology factory,” Isis 88 (1997): 205–246.
Ivan P. Pavlov, "The Scientific Investigation of the Psychical Faculties or Processes in the Higher Animals," Science 24 (1906): 613-619.
Daniel P. Todes, Pavlov's physiology factory : Experiment, interpretation, laboratory enterprise (2002).
-  April 1 - The decline of positivism
Ernst Mach, “The economy of science,” The science of mechanics: a critical and historical account of its development, trans. Thomas J. McCormack, 3rd ed. (1907 [1883/1893]), 481-494.
Theodore Porter, “The death of the object: Fin de siècle philosophy of physics,” in Modernist Impulses in the Human Sciences 1870–1930, ed. Dorothy Ross (1994), 128–151.
- Course description