MSWG: Felix Lüttge


Wednesday, September 16, 2015, 12:00pm to 1:30pm


Science Center 252

"The whalers' natural history and natural historians' whales"

Abstract: The paper uses the iconoclasm of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick as a point of departure to examine four types of images that deal with the problem of representing whales pictorially. I hope to show how the practical knowledge of whalers came to be inscribed in the work of natural historians, and that, although driven by allegedly ‘base’ (read: economic) motives, practical knowledge was essential to natural history. As will come apparent, Melville’s juxtaposition of theoretical and practical knowledge in literature runs parallel to a kind of scientific boundary work that lies at the core of the dichotomy of practical and theoretical knowledge.

Please RSVP by filling out this form for copy of pre-circulated paper. Lunch will be served if you RSVP before Monday, Sep 14.