Upcoming Events

Natural history and the life sciences in the long eighteenth century

18 August 2015
Muniment Room (S401)
Level 4, Lobby B (Southern Vestibule)
The University of Sydney

Room Location: The Muniment Room is accessible via either the Northern (Lobby A) or Southern (Lobby B) Vestibules' staircases on the Eastern side of the Quadrangle Building.

A work-in-progress workshop sponsored by the Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science and the Sydney Intellectual History Network.

This workshop will examine the nature and diversity of natural history as practised and theorised in the period from Leibniz to Herder and Kant, with a special focus on the relation between natural history and the life sciences in the period. In addition to addressing the impact of developments in natural history on traditional disciplinary domains such as botany, this workshop will explore the role of natural history in debates about generation, vitalism and the emergence of anthropology.


  • Peter Anstey (Sydney)
  • Stephen Gaukroger (Sydney)
  • Jennifer Mensch (UWS)
  • Dalia Nassar (Sydney)
  • Mike Olson (Macquarie)
  • Justin Smith (Paris VII)
  • Anik Waldow (Sydney)

9.00–9.45 Justin Smith (Paris VII) Leibniz as Prospector
9.45–10.30 Peter Anstey (Sydney) The Methodology of Charles Bonnet


11.00–11.45 Stephen Gaukroger (Sydney) Comparative Natural History and the Question of the Human Species
11.45–12.30 Anik Waldow (Sydney) Reason in Nature: Herder on Species Borders and Forces


2.00–2.45 Dalia Nassar (Sydney) Interpreting Nature: ‘Hermeneutics’ and the Study of Nature in Herder and Goethe
2.45–3.30 Michael Olson (Macquarie) Physiological Anthropology


3.45–4.30 Jennifer Mensch (Western Sydney) Like Mother, Like Daughter: Degeneration and Regeneration in Wollstonecraft’s and Shelley’s Medical Imaginary

Click here to register.

For more information please contact Laura Kotevska

Research Day in 18th Century Studies at the University of Sydney

Topic: 18th Century Philosophy in Dialogue
Adolph Menzel, German, 1850, Tafelrunde. Oil on canvas.

Adolph Menzel, German, 1850, Tafelrunde. Oil on canvas.

Friday 28 August 2015
University of Sydney

The Sydney Intellectual History Network (SIHN) is sponsoring a Research Day in Eighteenth-Century Studies at the University of Sydney on 28 August 2015. The event supports the efforts of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies (ANZSECS) in building a new community of scholars and postgraduate studies from a broad range of disciplines within the humanities.

The Research Day will begin with an interdisciplinary panel discussion with experts from a number of fields speaking on the relationships between philosophy, music, literature, art and architecture during the eighteenth century. Led by Dalia Nassar (Philosophy), the panel features visiting scholar Justin Smith (Université Paris Diderot - Paris VII) engaged in discussion with Jennifer Ferng (Architecture), Alan Maddox (Musicology), Jennifer Milam (Art History) and Matthew Sussman (English Literature). Postgraduate students will then take part in an intensive seminar (full description below) on The Praxis of Philosophy and the Role of the Philosopher in the Eighteenth Century with Professor Smith and Dr Nassar. A public lecture concludes the day with Professor Smith speaking on Philosophy as a Way of Life: Not Just for the Ancients. The date marks the 266th anniversary of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s birth.

Click here for more information

Aviation Cultures Mk. II: Technology, Culture, Heritage

DC10 and altimeter

10–11 December 2015
The University of Sydney and the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences

Aviation has formed a significant aspect of Australian life for over a century, yet its cultural impact has only recently begun to be explored. From science to sociology, fashion to fiction, this will be the first event to offer a truly national approach to interpreting the technologies, cultures and collections that embody Australia’s aviation heritage. Hosted by the University of Sydney and the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, we welcome participation by curators, scholars, authors and students of our flying past. Three themes will characterise our discussions, in the hope of creating a common language and a mission for the future: technology, culture and heritage.

Call for papers
Join a faculty of national and international participants by sending and expression of interest, or submitting a 250-word abstract plus 100-word biography before 9 August 2015.
download call for papers

For submissions or more information, please contact:
Peter Hobbins

This event has been made possible with the support of the Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science.

Click here for the programme and abstracts from Aviation Cultures Mk I, held 27 February 2015.