John Tresch will speak at the Seminar in Epistemologies of Material Culture on Thursday, October 14, at 12:15 pm. His presentation is entitled “Edgar Allan Poe on the Furniture of the Universe.”

This talk draws on Tresch’s recent book, The Reason for the Darkness of the Night: Edgar Allan Poe and the Forging of American Science. It reflects on Poe’s approach to material culture of various kinds, from technologies of print, experiment, and display, to the objects of interior design. Poe’s sensibility was shaped by the explosive rise of mechanical industry and popular culture as well as the unsettled state of science in antebellum America. His attention to the spiritual effects of material compositions resonates with the slippery materialism of his natural philosophy.

John Tresch
teaches at the Warburg Institute, University of London. Trained in anthropology and history of science at the University of Chicago, Cambridge University, and the ENS-Paris, he taught in the department of history and sociology of science at the University of Pennsylvania from 2005 to 2018. He is editor of the History of Anthropology Review and author of The Romantic Machine: Utopian Science and Technology after Napoleon, which won the 2013 Pfizer Prize from the History of Science Society.

This event will be held via Zoom. A link will be circulated to registrants by 10 am on the day of the event. This event will be live with automatic captions.