Sunday, June 21, 2009

[Yasmin_discussions] introduction, new yasminer - Marilena Di Bucchianico

Dear Yasminers,

This is to introduce myself to this list. a bit of old fashioned
I have been encouraged to join this e-community by Roger Malina, whom I
spoke with at the 'eye of the storm' conference at the Tate Britain, and I
thank him.

I am an italo-argentinian philosopher of science and I previously worked as
a theoretical physicist at the University of Rome "La Sapienza".
I also have had a career as a professional classical musician (which I
suspended effectively three years after completing the Conservatory
curricula, some 10 years ago..) and had brief experiences in various other
fields from scientific journalism to the movie business. I will be
defending my PhD in Philosophy of Physics at LSE this fall and I will start
with a post-doc position at Rutgers this January, moving on towards the
dialogue between Science and Art.
I am of the opinion that the research goals of the fellowship I am starting
at the Centre for Cultural Analysis at Rutgers could be of interest to some
people in this list, from what I have understood of Yasminers (and I
apologise for eventual misunderstandings, I am afraid i did not know about
it before Roger's mention).
So I copy here the sketched idea of it for your reference, without going
into my specific proposal.
Do not hesitate to contact me regarding this project, although I will be
more active on it after the summer.
I will be working with Henry Turner and Jonathan Kramnick as coordinators,
and an interdisciplinary group of scholars (from philosophy, literature,
history, arts, sociology..), and co-lead a seminar and an UG course on
Project:* **
Evidence and Explanation in the Arts and Sciences*

Few aspects of the modern university are more taken for granted than the
notion that the arts and sciences form separate fields of inquiry. The
physical plan of the university campus reflects the separation, as do
curricula, libraries, administrative organization, and many informal aspects
of academic life. But what would it mean to identify areas of *conjunction
*between the arts and sciences rather assuming their separation? The
purpose of the seminar will be to examine characteristic methods for
defining and handling evidence in the natural sciences, social sciences, and
humanities and to assess how these fields use evidence to produce plausible
explanations about natural, social, and imaginative worlds. Drawing on the
research of the seminar participants and the work of distinguished visitors,
the seminar will approach the problem of constituting a faculty of the "Arts
*and *Sciences" by proceeding along four primary axes:

- an *historical *inquiry into how fields that we now recognize as
belonging to the sciences and the humanities have come to assume the modern
contours that shape the intellectual landscape of today's university;

- a *philosophical *inquiry into the basic concepts and methods that
shape the terrain of the sciences and the humanities: problems of induction,
hypothesis, modeling and experimentation, of system and theory, among

- a *topical *inquiry into longstanding concerns in the arts and
sciences, including life, matter, consciousness, time, force,
interpretation, and meaning;

- a *formal *inquiry into how evidence is represented, modified, shared,
communicated, and made exemplary, including the role of digital media and
other new information technologies in the handling of evidence.

[Possible topics include but are not limited to: the history of the
disciplines; laboratory life and the culture of scientific debate; problems
of evidence in emerging scientific fields; the history of quantitative
analysis and its application to humanistic disciplines; natural history and
natural illustration; ancient science and philosophy; literature, science
and the "two cultures"; cognitive science and its relation to problems of
consciousness, imagination, and creativity; computing, new media, and
information technologies in scientific and humanities research.]

glad to be in this new 'loop'. looking forward to your postings.


Marilena Di Bucchianico
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