Revolutions | 2017-2018

Each year the Humanities Lab undertakes an investigation of a specific question or topic. For the 2017-2018 academic year we are investigating the concept of revolution, especially focusing on interdisciplinary cultural, technological, and political perspectives.

Join us for one event or for the whole series! All events are free and open to the public.


Culture, Technology, Politics

Our investigation for this year is anchored by two anniversaries of important historical and cultural events: the 100 years of the Russian Revolution in October 1917, and the 200 years of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in January 1818. Our lectures focus on political transformation, technological bodies, revolution, perception, and art.

Spring 2018:

Frankenstein and Romantic Science

Richard Sha, Deparment of Literature, American University 

Wednesday February 7, 2018, 1 pm



Metastable Demons: The Otherworldly Operators of the 20th Century

Jimena Canales, History of Science, University of Illinois & Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Wednesday March 7, 2018, 1 pm



Digital Complexity: On the Circulation of Special Effects

Oliver Gaycken, Deparment of English, University of Maryland 

Wednesday April 4, 2018, 1 pm





Fall 2017:

Revolutionizing Perception

Arthur Shapiro, Departments of Psychology and Computer Science, American University

Wednesday September 20, 2017, 1 pm



Body Modern: Fritz Kahn, Medical Illustration and the Visual Rhetoric of Modernity 1915-1960

Michael Sappol, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, Uppsala University

Wednesday October 4, 2017, 1 pm



100 years Ago Today: The Russian Revolution

Eric Lohr, Departmentt of History, American University

Wednesday October 25, 2017, 1 pm



Black Joy and Resistance: Black Feminist Discourse Online

Catherine Knight Steele, Deparment of Communication, University of Maryland

Wednesday November 8, 2017, 1 pm