2014 Lewis Henry Morgan Lecture

‘Waves: An Anthropology of Scientific Things’

Wednesday October 22, 7 PM

Lander Auditorium


Stefan Helmreich, the Elting E. Morison Professor of Anthropology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will present on an ongoing multi-sited, multi-method ethnographic project investigating wave science on Oct. 22, 2014 at the University of Rochester.

Helmreich will give the talk “Waves: An Anthropology of Scientific Things.”

The lecture will provide an ethnographic account of how contemporary ocean wave scientists comprehend and model the world wavescape. It will detail scientists’ debates about whether climate change is modulating wave tracks, shapes, and sizes—whether, in other words, waves can usefully be read as signs of the Anthropocene, the geological epoch dating to the industrial revolution during which, some geologists claim, human activity began to sediment enduring global effects.

The Oct. 22 lecture will be held at 7pm in Lander Auditorium of Hutchinson Hall on the University’s River Campus.  The talk is free and open to the public.

Helmreich received his Ph.D. in anthropology from Stanford University. Helmreich’s recent book, Alien Ocean: Anthropological Voyages in Microbial Seas (University of California Press, 2009), won numerous awards including the 2012 Rachel Carson Book Prize from the Society for Social Studies of Science. His essays have appeared in Critical Inquiry, Representations, American Anthropologist, and The Wire.


Daniel Reichman

Associate Professor of Anthropology

Co-Director of Lewis Henry Morgan Lecture Series

University of Rochester

Rochester, NY 14627

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