Erin A. Freedman

Erin A. Freedman

Erin Freedman

Research Interests: Science and Technology Studies; philosophy of science; material culture; history of textiles.

Erin Freedman is a PhD candidate in History of Science at Harvard. Her dissertation “Fabricating Modern Fibers, 1919-1955” investigates the uses of fibers as models, metaphors, research objects, and experimental tools during a period of significant advancement in textile innovation and manufacture. It explores this fiber uptake in the context of European and American projects to establish autarkic textile industries in the interwar through post-war periods. Focusing on key episodes in the fiber-guided expansion of x-ray crystallography into biological and industrial research, and the fertile theoretical and technical exchanges between molecular biologists, crystallographers, and textile physicists, she shows how, for a short time, fiber artifacts appeared more natural and nature’s forms more fabric-like.

Prior to coming to Harvard, Erin worked in museum curation at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. She has also curated exhibitions collectively and collaboratively at the Haus des Kulturen Der Welt (Berlin), Goethe-Institut (New York), SESC Pompeia (São Paolo), among others.

Previous Degrees:

BA., Honours, Literature & Critical Theory, University of Toronto
MA., Decorative Arts, Design History and Material Culture, Bard Graduate Center

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