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MECHANIZATION: Aspects of its historical development

Fall 2007 Lecture Schedule

Jonathan Sawday, Strathclyde University
Calculating Engines: Minds, Bodies, Sex and Machines on the Eve of the Enlightenment
Thursday, September 27 - 4:30 PM
Adamson Wing, Baker Hall 136A

Robert Myers, Playwright and Professor of English and Creative Writing, American University in Beirut
Playing With History: Political Theatre in Europe, the U.S. and the Middle East
Thursday, October 11 - 4:30 PM
Richard Rauh Theater in the Purnell Center
Co-sponsored by the Humanities Scholars Program and the School of Drama

Norton Wise
Why Were Victorian Auomata Female?
Monday, October 15 - 12:00 noon
University Center, Rangos 1

Joel Mokyr, Robert H. Strotz Professor of Arts and Sciences; Professor of Economics and History, Northwestern University; Sackler Professor (by special appointment), Eitan Berglas School of Economics,
Tel Aviv University
Mechanization, the Enlightenment, and the Industrial Revolution in Britain
Friday, November 2 - 4:30 PM
Adamson Wing, Baker Hall 136A

Martin Davis
Alan Turing's Computers and Our Computers
Thursday, November 29 - 4:30 PM
Adamson Wing, Baker Hall 136A

Associated Event:
Italian Futurism - elucidated and performed with the participation of Filippo Tommaso Marinetti
and Luigi Russolo
Thursday, November 15 - 4:30 PM
Adamson Wing, Baker Hall 136A


Jonathan Sawday
Calculating Engines: Minds, Bodies, Sex and Machines on the Eve of the Enlightenment

The lecture explores the fascination with the idea of creating artificial life and 'thinking machines' in the pre-enlightenment period.  It concentrates on the pertinent ideas of Descartes, Hobbes, Pascal, and Leibniz, but ends by exploring the 'anti-machine' of the late seventeenth-century, i.e., the malfunctioning sex machines of the notorious John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester.


Robert Myers
Playing With History: Political Theatre in Europe, the U.S. and the Middle East


Taking as its starting point The Persians, by Aeschylus, this talk explores some of the roots of the impulse to represent history theatrically in Eastern and Western traditions. After a brief survey of various manifestations of historical and political theatre in Europe in the past five centuries (Shakespeare’s history plays, Wallerstein, Danton’s Death, Saint Joan, In Spite of Everything, Galileo, etc.) the talk will focus on contemporary historical and political plays in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East. Recent American plays to be discussed include Fires in the Mirror, Slavs and Gross Indecency; Europeans plays include The Investigation, In the Case of J. Robert Oppenheimer and contemporary British history plays, especially Mad Forest; and recent Middle Eastern works include pieces by the Lebanese performance artists Rabih Mroue and Lina Saneh and the plays of the Iraqi playwright/director Jawad Al Assadi, especially his most recent, Baghdadi Bath, which I co-translated. Excerpts of several works by Jawad Al Assadi, including the Damascus production of Baghdadi Bath, will be screened.   

Martin Davis
Alan Turing’s Computers and Our Computers

 
In 1999, TIME magazine proposed their list of the twenty greatest “scientists and thinkers'” of the twentieth century.  Explaining their choice of Alan Turing as one of the twenty, they wrote: “everyone who taps at a keyboard, opening a spreadsheet or a word-processing program, is working on an incarnation of a Turing machine.” Although these “machines” were only mathematical abstractions that Turing had introduced in a technical paper published in 1936, they implied a whole new way of thinking about computation and revealed the goal of an all-purpose machine that could be “programmed” to carry out arbitrary computations. In this talk I will tell the story of Turing’s rich, eventful, and ultimately tragic life, and explain some of his ideas.

 

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The Humanities Center welcomes 2010-11 Fellow, Jennifer Gully

The Humanities Center Lectures:
Identities in Conflict: The Recognition of Migrants

Faces of Migration: The Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival March 17-April 10, 2011

 


Links

Humanities Departments:

   English
   History
   Philosophy
   Modern Languages

College of Humanities and
Social Sciences

Center for the Arts in Society

The Center for the Advancement of Applied Ethics and Political Philosophy

Carnegie Mellon

 

           
         

 

   
   
 
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