Final Stories, Scientific Syntheses

30 Nov 2017
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

470 Stephens Hall

Event Type

Nasser Zakariya
Assistant Professor of Rhetoric, UC Berkeley

The present-day “scientific epic” (or the story of “cosmic evolution” or the “new cosmic myth”) functions as a possible frame for synthesizing branches of knowledge according to a narrative, historical structure. This narrative is itself an instance of a “genre of synthesis,” or a mode of unification and disciplinary delineation appealing to representations such as specific images, rhetorical figures, and other framing devices orienting scientific labor and research. In relation to such overlapping genres, this presentation will briefly sketch and discuss aspects of the formation and contestation of such modern synthetic, finalizing forms, attending to a network of European, Anglo-American and émigré scholars and cultural actors. Such efforts in programming, in popular and pedagogical outreach, in conceiving unity and experimenting in synthesis, structured and advanced a contemporary scientific myth, instituting different devices for domesticating the expanse of emergent universal history, for contending with conceptual tensions implicit and explicit in the nature of such synthetic forms.

Photo credits: John Hubley

This event is sponsored by CSTMS.
Additional sponsorship comes from:  CSTMS