PHILLIP THURTLE
VITAE


Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Carleton University
1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6
pthurtle@ccs.carleton.ca
613-520-7400, ext. 1966

EDUCATION:
September 1994 to August 2002: Stanford University, Stanford, California.
Ph. D. in History and Philosophy of Technology and Science. Secondary fields in the Anthropology of Science and American Studies
June 1994: Master of Arts in American History, Stanford University, Stanford, California.
January 1980 to March 1983: Bachelor of Science, The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA

ACADEMIC APPOINTMENTS:

July 2002-Present: Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario.

 

March-June1997, March 1998-June 2001: Lecturer, School of Communications, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

EDITORIAL DUTIES:

January 2003-present: Series Co-editor, In Vivo: Cultural Mediations of Biomedicine, Univrsity of Washington Press.

March 2000-present: Co-editor of Humanities Net H-SCI-MED-TECH distribution list.

DISSERTATION:

"Breeding True : Information Exchange and the Growth of Genetic Reasoning."
Dissertation Advisor: Timothy Lenoir, History, Stanford University
Submitted: August 2002

ACADEMIC AWARDS:

2002: Tools for Transformation "A Three Year Proposal for an Interdisciplinary Course on Science and Society" from University of Washington.

2001-2002: Walter Simpson Chapin Humanities Center, Danz Course Award "In Vivo: Traversing Artistic and Scientific Conceptions of Life" a class taught during Spring Quarter 2002

2000-2001: Walter Simpson Chapin Humanities Center Award “Information and the Human Body”
(http://depts.washington.edu/uwch/programs/ind3.htm)

1998-1999: Melvin and Joan Lane Graduate Fellowship in the History of Science and Technology.

1997 to 1998: Visiting Scholar, University of Washington

1996-1997: Andrew P. Mellon Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, Stanford University.

1992-1996: History Department Fellowship, Stanford University.

1982 Student Research Award, The Evergreen State College Foundation

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

Science and Literature in Society Society for the Social Studies of Science
H-NET, Humanities and Social Sciences on Line Society for the History of Technology
History of Science Society Society for Philosophy and Technology
   

TEACHING HONORS

May 2003, Carleton University Student Association Outstanding Educator Award.

April 2000, Outstanding Educator Award Delta Upsilon Fraternity.

PROJECTS IN NEW MEDIA RESEARCH

Reimagining Biocommerce, co-authored with Robert Mitchell (English, Duke University) and Helen Burgess (Digital Technology and Culture, WSU Vancouver), an interactive DVD-ROM (under consideration University of Pensylvania Press).

Spring 2000: founded and administrated the "UW Gaming Group"

1999: Founder of University of Washington's "New Media Theory Group" now known as the "Digital Media Working Group."

1995-1996: Researcher and Consultant on “The History of Silicon Valley Project” at Stanford University. This project involved the creation of an online distributed database for documenting the history of Silicon Valley in its own medium.

Summer 1999: Digitization of 1852-4 Railroad Survey Maps through CARTAH at the University of Washington

ADMINISTRATIVE EXPERIENCE

Fall 1998-Summer 1999: Academic Adviser and International Programs Coordinator,
Comparative History of Ideas Program, University of Washington.

COURSES TAUGHT

53.529: Graduate Seminar in Science and Technology Studies

This seminar introduces students to emergent issues in the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS). Students will leave this seminar knowledgeable of the theoretical basis of STS and practiced in applying this basis toward topics of their interest. The course is organized around two main themes: the continuing influence of systems thinking and the recent move toward material culture and “embodiment” in STS scholarship. Other active areas of research will also come under evaluation: information technology and new media, identity in technology studies, the role of technology and science in globalization, the agency of technological artifacts, and the construction of knowledge.

53.441: Sociological Studies of Science and Technology

We live in a society shaped by science and technology. Few of us, however, take the time to precisely understand the ways science and society interact. Scientific knowledge and scientific practice are often assumed to be separate from the rest of modern society and thus impenetrable to the tools developed by sociologists and anthropologists. Scholars over the last few decades have clearly established that this is not the case. Although a unique form of knowledge, science and scientific practice shares much with other forms of culture and can profitably be studied as a sociological enterprise. In a world where social policy makers need to understand the nuances of molecular biology or the intricacies of computer operating systems in order to craft a more egalitarian society, understanding the sociological study of scientific knowledge will only become increasingly important.

This class will build on recent literature in the sociological studies of scientific knowledge, anthropology, and critical social theory to give students the tools to explore the relation of science to modern society. Students will learn to analyze science as a dynamic body of skills and knowledge at once a part of contemporary society but unique in goals and methods. Specifically, students will come to understand how social interests, tacit knowledge, writing, communication technologies, identity, and perception (embodied and instrumental) shape, and in turn are shaped by, scientific knowledge. Students will be encouraged to adopt more complex perspectives on the role of science and technology in contemporary society while they come to a greater understanding of the relationship of society to its natural environment.

While at the University of Washington I designed and taught the following classes:

Humanities 200: In Vivo: Traversing Scientific and Artistic Observations on Life

This class investigates life as an emergent phenomenon across the disciplines of molecular biology, art, art history, literary criticism, and information studies. Students will read key texts from these disciplines, evaluate recent art commenting on bioinformatics, and design their own creative projects. A unique component of the class, a multi-disciplinary laboratory, will introduce students to important techniques in molecular biology and multimedia scholarship. Students will be encouraged to use laboratory technique as a means for critically exploring their environment.

CMU 200: Introduction to Mass Communication

This course is designed to encourage students to think critically about their use of mass media. During the quarter we will focus on examination of the functions and effects of mass communication on individuals in American society as well as address the role of media in other countries. We will examine the influence of the historical, social, legal, and economic environments on media content and production. We will also look at the formats of different media and analyze how their unique characteristics influence the content of the messages they convey. In addition, we will pay special attention to emergence of what has been called the "new media" and the "digital revolution," particularly the Internet, World Wide Web and other digital communication and information technologies.

CMU 302: The Cultural Impact of Information Technology
(Cross listed with the Comparative History of Ideas Program, CHID 370)

In this class, we will utilize approaches from the history of technology, cultural studies, and literary theory to analyze the cultural and social impact of information technology. We will ask how information technologies transform our relationships with others, our concept of self, and the communities to which we belong, engaging questions such as the following: Do new and emerging informational technologies truly threaten/promise to alter social interaction - and if so, how, specifically? What are the economic, political, legal, and socio-cultural dimensions of these changes? How does one differentiate between technology fads and lasting change? What specific forces determine the future directions of these developments?

CMU 403: Visual Culture

This class introduces students to the production, understanding, and evaluation of visual documents. In-depth seminar discussions of classic texts in rhetoric, visual theory, art history, media studies, history of science, and anthropology will are used to develop a "toolbox" of analytical concepts. Students then explore these concepts through "hands-on" experimentation using the latest in electronic visual technologies (including digital graphics, video, and WWW based production techniques) and considered critique of each others' work. Students can expect to leave this class with a basic understanding of prevalent electronic technologies, a sound understanding of the basics of the multi-disciplinary "visual culture" studies, and a greater understanding of the role of vision in how we manipulate and understand the world around us.

CMU 418: The Cultural History of Communication Practices

Beginning with the often overlooked communication practices of speech, writing, and gesture and ending with new media and the Internet, this class will investigate transformational changes in communication practices and their relationship to social organization, cultural production, and the rhythms of everyday life. Students will find new and interesting answers to the following questions: How do communication technologies shape content? How are cultural presuppositions built into the mediums of information exchange? In what ways are cultural goods communication technologies? And finally, how have communication mediums changed human experience? Far from a comprehensive survey, this class offers students a rigorous introduction to analytical perspectives used by scholars interested in the materiality of communication. Students will read studies from critical theory, cultural history, social history, history of science and technology, cultural studies, communication theory, communication policy, anthropology, and economics to build a “tool bag” of approaches they can draw on to analyze the informational content of any material object.

CMU 418: The Information Society

In this class we will critically examine the terms “information” and “information society.” We will read and discuss writings by communications theorists, sociologists, anthropologists, geographers, literary theorists, economists, and historians, in order to understand the subtlety and pervasiveness of information in modern society. Specifically we will ask is the term “information society” a useful this phrase is to describe modern society? What do we mean by the term “information” anyway? Exactly in what ways are we supposed to be living in an “information society”? How can information help us understand the development of civil complexity or persistent social inequalities? Whose idea of the information society should we subscribe to anyway? What new insights does this phrase give us into the role of communication in complex societies?

CMU 507: Computers and Critical Thought

Digital communication has transformed our relationship with others, our conceptions of self, and the communities to which we belong. Studying these changes, however, is made much more difficult by the rapid frequency of technological change and the very ubiquity of the technologies themselves. Often it is even difficult to establish enough “critical distance” to make lasting or novel observations on the effects of these technologies. This class will seek to apply recent observations in literary, sociological, and critical theory in order to establish such distance. Specifically, students will discuss the following three topics as they relate to digital communication technologies: post-modernity, identity and experience, and the human geography of cyberspace. The readings each week are chosen to introduce students to “classic” readings in critical theory while demonstrating how recent scholarship has applied concepts from these readings in the context of computer mediated communication.

In addition, I have the following teaching experience from Stanford University, Stanford California

Fall 1995: "The Darwinian Revolution" (Guest Lecturer on Population Genetics and the Neo-Darwinian Synthesis).

Fall 1995: "The History of Silicon Valley" (Guest Lecturer on the Development of Recombinant DNA and the Relation of Biochemistry to Medicine, demonstrated the use of computer supported multi-media as a teaching aide).

Spring 1994: "The Origins of Life: An Investigation of the Historical and Philosophical Issues Concerning Origins of Life Research" (Instructor and course creator) .

Fall 1994: "The Industrial Revolution: Historical and Cultural Perspectives" (Teaching Assistant and Guest Lecturer on Conflict and Labor in Industrial America) .

Fall 1993: "The Darwinian Revolution" (Teaching Assistant and Guest Lecturer on the Mendelian-Biometrician Debate and its Relation to the Development of Eugenic Research).

Spring 1993: "The History of Twentieth Century Physics" (Teaching Assistant).

PUBLICATIONS

Books:

Breeding True: Information Processing and the Rise of Genetic Rationality (University of Washington Press, under review).

Co-editor with Robert Mitchell, Semiotic Flesh: Information and the Human Body (University of Washington Press, 2002).

Co-editor with Robert Mitchell, Data Made Flesh: Embodying Information (Routledge, due 2003). Contributors:

Tim Lenoir (History of Science, Stanford), Rich Doyle (Rhetoric, Penn. State), Mark Poster (Media Theory, UC Irvine), N. Katherine Hayles (English, UCLA), Robin Held (Art History and Curator, University of Washington), Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht (Comp Lit, Stanford), Bernadette Wegenstein (Communications, U of Buffalo), Mary Flanagan (New Media Artist and Scholar, University of Oregon), Mary Villa (History, U of Wisc.), Elisabeth Le Guin (Music Theory, UCLA), Kathleen Woodward (Director, Simpson Center for the Humanities, University of Washington), Robert Mitchell (English, Duke University), Phillip Thurtle (Sociology and Anthropology, Carleton University) and transgenic artist Eduardo Kac.

Articles (in print and online):

“The Material Poiesis of Information” co-authored with Robert E. Mitchell in Data Made Flesh: Embodying Information (In press, Routledge due out October 2003).

“Bastard Birth: Middle Class Mores and the Rise of Genetic Rationality” in Data Made Flesh: Embodying Information (In press, Routledge due out December 2003).

"Genomic Book of the Dead: A Manual for More Conscious Death Experiences in the Twenty First Century" in Genesis: Contemporary Art Explores Human Genetics (Henry Art Gallery, Online Exhibition Catalogue Found at http://www.gene-sis.net/new_essays.html).

“Electrophoresis” for the Oxford University Press Companion to Contemporary Science (Oxford University Press, 2003).

"Beaufort's Bastards: Information Processing and Industrial Breeding" in In Vivo: Embodying Information ed. by Phillip Thurtle and Robert Mitchell (under consideration, University of Minnesota Press and Routledge).

"Harnessing Heredity in Gilded Age America: Middle Class Mores and Industrial Breeding in a Cultural Context", Journal of the History of Biology 2002 Spring;35(1):43-78.

“The unbearable depth of the surface: Lichtenstein’s landscapes” for the exhibition catalogue Shifting Ground: Transformed Views of the American Landscape created for the exhibition of the same name at The Henry Art Gallery, Seattle WA. (Henry Art Gallery, 2000).

“’The G Files’: Linking the ‘Selfish Gene’ and the ‘Thinking Reed’”. An essay commissioned for Stephen Jay Gould’s visit to Stanford University.

"The Creation of the Genetic Self and Its Implications for Biological Social Control." Stanford Humanities Review. Vol. 5, 1996, 81-100.

"Protein Sequencers," in Instruments of Science: A Historical Encyclopedia, ed. by Robert Bud, Stephen Johnston, and Deborah Warner (Hamden, CT: Garland Publishing, 1998)

"Electrophoretic Apparatus," in Instruments of Science: A Historical Encyclopedia, ed. by Robert Bud, Stephen Johnston, and Deborah Warner (Hamden, CT: Garland Publishing, 1998).

BOOK REVIEWS

David E. Nye, Consuming Power: A Social History of American Energies
(MIT Press, 1997). For History and Technology, vol. 16, 1999, 108-110.

PAPERS PRESENTED

"From the Poetics of Wandering to the Poetics of Processing: The Space and Time of Classical Genetics," Science and Literature Society, Austin 2003.

"Thought from the Outside: Using Animation to Think Beyond Norms," Social Theory and Critical Discourses Working Group, Carleton University, September 2003.

"Comics and Sequence," Washington State University in Vancouver, 2003.

"The Genomic Book of the Dead: Discourse Networks of Death in the Post-Genomic Era," Social Theory and Critical Discourses Working Group, Carleton University, 2003.

"Animating Your Genome," Science and Literature Society, Pasadena 2002.

"The Genomic Book of the Dead: A Manual for More Conscious Death Experiences in the 21st Century" Religion and Genomics Conference, Duke University, 2002.

Panel participant, "Paradigms Lost and Found: The Implications of the Human Genome Project" Sponsored by the Henry Art Gallery and the Animating Democracy Initiative, April 2002.

"Your Animated Future: Phenomenology, Comics, and Online Scholarship" Invited Speaker at Washington State University at Vancouver, March 2002.

"The Genomic Book of the Dead: Death, Life, and Representation in the 21st Century," Second European Conference of the International Society for Literature and Science, May 2002.

"The World of Stephen Jay Gould" for the Seattle Arts and Lectures Series, October 2001.

Panelist discussing Homo Sapiens 1900 (Peter Cohen Director) at the Seattle Jewish Film Festival, March 2001.

Invited Presentation at the Honors Brown Bag Lunch Series, "From Survivor to Blair Witch Project–The current prevalence of the 'reality effect' in popular culture,” November 2000.

“Materializing Nature: Landscape in a Consumer Culture” Henry Art Gallery, Seattle Washington, May 2000.

“Information and Democracy,” panel participant in Information Technology and Democracy: Seminars on the Information Age, Sponsored by the University of Washington School of Library and Information Science, invited for 22, January 2000 and 28, April 2000.

“The Emergent Structure of Cyberspace: Implications for Multi-Cultural Diversity” for the Curriculum Transformation Institute: Exploring Difference in Multicultural Classrooms, Sponsored by the University of Washington and Shoreline Community College, Summer 1999.

“Information Processing and the Rise of Genetic Reasoning,” invited lecturer, Stanford University Autumn 1998.

“The Phenomenology of the Cubby Hole: The Wooten Desk as Technology of Early Industrial Networks of Exchange,” Society for the History of Technology, Annual Conference, 1998 (Co-organizer of session on “Technology and Modernity”).

“Space and Speciation: Turn-of-the-Century Debates on the Origins of the Species,” Rice University, Spring 1998.

“Filing and Information Processing in Biological Thought” Sarah Lawrence College, Spring 1998.

“Harnessing Heredity in Gilded Age America: Rational Reproduction in a Cultural Context,” History of Science Society, Annual Conference, 1997.

“Harnessing Heredity: Rational Reproduction in Victorian America,” University of Washington History of Science Reading Group.

"Engineering Organisms, Disciplines, Institutions, and Epistemologies at the Beckman Center for Molecular and Genetic Medicine at Stanford University," University of Washington History of Science Reading Group.

"A Horse is a Horse, (Unless of Course...): Horse Breeding, Eugenics, Education, Industrial Philanthropy, and Biological Determinism in Turn of the Century United States." Western Social Science Association, 37th Annual Conference, 1995.

"The Foals of Electioneer: Human Nature Limited by the Needs of Industrial Capitalism." Columbia History of Science Meeting, 1995.

"The Beckman Center for Molecular and Genetic Medicine at Stanford University: A Case Study in the Relationship of the Clinical and the Basic Sciences." West Coast History of Science Society, 1994.

"The Development of the Beckman Center for Molecular Genetics: A Case Study Investigating the Relationship of Departmental Problem Solving, Patronage, and Scientific Disciplines," Science, Technology, and Economics Workshop, Stanford University.

PUBLICATIONS IN THE BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

Kwok WW; Kovats S; Thurtle P; Nepom G.T., HLA-DQ Allelic Polymorphisms Constrain Patterns of Class II Heterodimer Formation. Journal of Immunology, Vol 150(6):2263-72, 1993.

Gaur, L.K., Heise, E.R., Thurtle, P.S., Nepom, G.T., Conservation of the HLA-DQB2 Locus in Nonhuman Primates. Journal of Immunology, Vol. 149(7):2530, 1992.

Gaur, L.K., Heisse, E.R., Thurtle, P.S., Nepom, G.T., Is DQß Functional among Non-Human Primates? In "Molecular Evolution of the Major-Histocompatibility." J. Klein and D. Klein eds., Springer-Verlag, 1991.

Kwok, W.W., Thurtle, P.S., Nepom, G.T., A Genetically Controlled Pairing Anomaly Between HLA-DQa and HLA-DQß Chains. Journal of Immunology Vol.143 No. 11 p3598, 1989.

Kwok, W.W., Schwartz, D., Nepom, B.S., Hock, R.A., Thurtle, P.S., Nepom, G.T., HLA-DQ Molecules Form a-ß Heterodimers of Mixed Allotype. Journal of Immunology, Vol.142 No.9 p3123, 1988.