Results for: bimm

Human Bodies in History

  • Course Level: Undergraduate
  • Department: History, IRHUM
  • Year: 2021-22
  • Term: Autumn
  • M/W 3:00-4:20 PM
  • IRHU 26076 / KNOW 26076
  • Iris Clever and Jordan Bimm

How have we come to know and experience our bodies? This undergraduate seminar develops humanities research skills necessary to study the body in history. Spanning early modern cultural practices to modern medicine, science, and technology, this course explores how ideas and practices concerning the body have changed over time and how the body itself is shaped by culture and society. A major focus will be learning how to conduct different forms of historical research to produce cutting-edge humanities scholarship about the human body. Readings will introduce key themes and recent scholarship including work on disability, reproduction, race, gender, ethics, extreme environments, and identity. This dynamic research group will grapple with issues at the heart of our corporeal existence by combining perspectives from the history of science, medicine, and technology, cultural history, anthropology, and science and technology studies (STS). 

Explorations of Mars

  • Course Level: Graduate; undergraduate with permission
  • Department: History, History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Science and Medicine, MAPSS, Environmental Studies
  • Year: 2021-22
  • Term: Autumn
  • T/Th 12:30-1:50 PM
  • KNOW 36070, HIST 35200, ENST 26070, HIPS 26070
  • Jordan Bimm

Mars is more than a physical object located millions of miles from Earth. Through centuries of knowledge-making people have made the “Red Planet” into a place that looms large in cultural and scientific imagination. Mars is now the primary target for human exploration and colonization in the Solar System. How did this happen? What does this mean? What do we know about Mars, and what’s at stake when we make knowledge about it? Combining perspectives from the social sciences and humanities, this course investigates how knowledge about Mars is created and communicated in not only science and technology fields but across public culture. A major focus will be learning how Mars has been embedded within diverse social and political projects here on Earth. Through reading-inspired group discussions and instructor-led experiential research projects, the course will move from the earliest visual observations of Mars to recent robotic missions on the planet’s surface. In doing so, this seminar will critically grapple with evolving human efforts to make Mars usable. No prior knowledge of Mars is required. This course fulfills the elective requirement for a new MAPSS concentration on the Formation of Knowledge https://sifk.uchicago.edu/mapss/

KNOW 36070: Explorations of Mars

  • Course Level: Graduate; undergraduate with permission
  • Department:
  • Year: 2020-21
  • Term: Spring

Jordan Bimm

Mars is more than a physical object located millions of miles from Earth. Through centuries of knowledge-making we have made the “Red Planet” into a place that looms large in cultural and scientific imagination. Mars is now the primary target for human exploration and colonization in the Solar System. How did this happen? What does this mean? What do we know about Mars, and what’s at stake when we make knowledge about it? Combining perspectives from history, anthropology, and sociology, this course investigates how knowledge about Mars is created and communicated in science and technology fields. A major focus will be learning how Mars has been embedded within wider social and political projects including theological debates, Manifest Destiny, The Cold War, and the commercialization of spaceflight. Through reading-inspired group discussions and instructor-led experiential projects, the course will move from the earliest visual observations of Mars to recent robotic missions on the planet’s surface. In doing so, this dynamic research group will critically grapple with problems posed by the potential discovery of extraterrestrial life, the organization of future Mars colonies, and evolving human efforts to make Mars usable.  

This course fulfills the elective requirement for a new MAPSS concentration on the Formation of Knowledge

IRHU 27001: The Human Body in Extremes

  • Course Level:
  • Department: IRHUM
  • Year: 2020-21
  • Term: Winter
  • IRHU 27001, KNOW 36000, HIPS 26100

Jordan Bimm

What can the human body endure? This interdisciplinary research seminar focuses on the interplay between bodies and extreme environments. Each week we will “visit” a different hazardous context or locale and consider the challenges it poses to human culture and survival. Environments to be covered include outer space, deep seas, polar regions, radiation zones, mountain summits, underground mines, and disaster areas. With tools from environmental history, the history of medicine, the history of technology, medical anthropology, and sociology, we will consider how ideas of the body and how ideas of the environment change over time, and how producing knowledge about the limits of the body helps to define what people consider “normal.” Each seminar will pair short readings drawn from secondary sources with original research tasks in diverse historical archives. Students in the course will develop greater familiarity with humanistic research methods, as well as learn how to apply scientific and biomedical ideas of the body to participate effectively in current debates shaping where people live, work, or simply visit.