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QMCECS Seminar – Prof Jessica Riskin

January 17, 2011

Prof Jessica Riskin (Stanford University)

‘Emotional and Other Adventures of Mr Machine’

Chair: Prof Colin Jones.

In association with The Centre for the History of the Emotions

Jessica Riskin is Professor of History at Stanford University. Her book, Science in the Age of Sensibility: the Sentimental Empiricists of the French Enlightenment won the AHA’s J Russell Major Prize in 2004 as the best book in French history. She is also author of ‘The Defecating Duck, Or, The Ambiguous Origins of Artificial Life’, Critical Inquiry (2003) and ‘Eighteenth-Century Wetware’, Representations (2003).

In this talk, Professor Riskin will introduce the current book-project that she is currently completing, Mind out of Matter: the Animal-Machine from Descartes to Darwin. The pre-circulated paper includes the draft Introduction and a sample chapter, which is largely focused on the eighteenth-century French philosophe La Mettrie and the sort of (emotional, responsive, indeed sexy) machines that he took people to be. If you are unable to read this work in advance, please come along anyway.

Please email m.ellis[at] for pre-circulated paper.

Location: Seminar Room, Lock-Keepers Cottage Graduate Centre, Queen Mary Mile End Campus

26 January 2011, 6.00-8.00pm.

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