CU Home
About the Society
Fellowship Competition
Calendar of Events
Lunchtime Lecture Series

Special Events and News

Archive of Events
Current Fellows
Alumni Fellows
Governing Board
Contact Us

Calendar of Events: Special Events

"A Critical Dialogue on Media and Materiality"
Bernhard Siegert, Gerd Bucerius Professor of History and Theory of Cultural Techniques, Bauhaus-University Weimar; Ben Kafka, Associate Professor, Departments of Media, Culture, and Communication and History at New York University; and Eduardo Cadava, Professor of English & Master, Wilson College, Princeton University.
14 March 2014, 12pm - 2pm
Heyman Center for the Humanities, Common Room
Co-organized by Fellows, Grant Wythoff and Brian Goldstone

"History and Psychoanalysis during the Postwar Period"
4 and 5 April 2014
Heyman Center for the Humanities, Common Room

"Toleration of Tolerations"
22 April 2014
Heyman Center for the Humanities, Common Room
Organized by Fellow, Teresa Bejan

Jacob Soll on The Reckoning: Financial Accountability and the Rise and Fall of Nations
24 April 2014, 6:15pm
Heyman Center for the Humanities, Common Room

"Calculating Capitalism, a Two-Day Conference"
25 and 26 April 2014
Heyman Center for the Humanities, Common Room
Organized by Fellow, Will Deringer

Society of Fellows News

24 November 2013

Society of Fellows in the Humanities alumnus ('00-'02) and Associate Professor of the History and Sociology of Science John Tresch has received the 2013 Pfizer Prize for Best Scholarly Book from the History of Science Society (HSS) for The Romantic Machine: Utopian Science and Technology after Napoleon. The Pfizer Prize recognizes an outstanding book in the history of science and is the highest honor awarded by the HSS for a single work of scholarship.

In his book, Tresch describes machines such as the compound steam engine and the daguerreotype as “romantic machines,” contrasting them with “classical machines” like mechanical clocks and levers. These new types of machines became embedded in the esthetic, spiritual, and political values of early nineteenth-century Paris. While machines reinforced the inequities of the new industrial order, they also represented a promise of liberation from labor and want.

“Romantic Machine is as imaginative and provocative as the works of the scientists and philosophers that make up its raw materials,” wrote the prize committee. “It is also a model of historical writing: clearly structured, clearly written, and synthetic, it enfolds texts, images, and contexts with masterful ease. It is a pleasure to read a book that is not only transformative, but inspirational.”

Tresch studies the cultural history of science, focusing on its interactions with politics, philosophy, technology, religion, and the arts. Particular interests include the impact of media technology, ritual and experience in the technoscience of the past two centuries, relations of science and literature, and the shifting limits of the rational and real. He is currently examining the scientific and mechanical obsessions of Edgar Allan Poe.

The History of Science Society is the world's largest society dedicated to understanding science, technology, medicine, and their interactions with society in historical context. Over 3,000 individual and institutional members across the world support the Society's mission to foster interest in the history of science and its social and cultural relations.

Read about The Romantic Machine here.

Read more about Tresch’s work on Poe here.

31 March 2014

The Lost Art of Dress by Linda Przybyszewski, Society of Fellows alumna ('95-'97) and Associate Professor of History and Associate Professor in the Law School at University of Notre Dame.

The Society of Fellows in the Humanities congratulates Professor Linda Przybyszewski on the publication of The Lost Art of Dress on 29 April 2014. The Lost Art of Dress tells the story of the women who taught Americans how to dress beautifully, efficiently, and thriftily for the 20th Century. The Dress Doctors offered advice on radio broadcasts, at women's clubs, and in magazines. They enlisted the federal government in their efforts through the Bureau of Home Economics. Millions of girls read their books in home economics classes and 4-H clothing clubs. But the Dress Doctors came under attack in the 1960s, and their lessons were lost. Until now. Join Professor Przybyszewski for a reading and talk on her book on 1 May 2014 at 5:00 PM at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Barnes & Noble, 227 West 27th Street, New York, NY 10001. Barnes and Noble, Fashion Institute of Technology.

For more on The Lost Art of Dress

Society of Fellows, Columbia University
Phone: (212) 854-8443 | Fax: (212) 662-7289 | Email:
Web site developed by Columbia University Digital Knowledge Ventures