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In: Connecting Territories


By considering the work of American embalmer, lawyer, and physician Carl Lewis Barnes (1872-1927), this paper analyzes the emergence of modern embalming in America. Barnes experimented with and exhibited the techniques by which embalming fluids travelled into the most remote cavities of the human body. In this sense, modern embalmers based their skills and methods on experimental medicine, turning the anatomy of blood vessels, physiology of circulation, and composition of blood into a circuit that allowed embalming fluids to move throughout the corpse. Embalmers in the late 19th century took ownership of the laws of hydrodynamics and the physiology of blood circulation to market their fluids and equipment, thus playing the role of physiologists of death, performing and demonstrating physiological experiments with dead bodies.

In: Nuncius

Taking the story of Efisio Marini as its starting point, this paper argues that embalming and photography are materially and historically connected due to their chemical nature. Photography and modern embalming both originated in the “chemical complex” of the nineteenth century, i.e., the idea that nature and natural processes could be synthesized in the laboratory. As Ursula Klein and Wolfgang Lefèvre have remarked, eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century chemists experimented with materials, studied the possibilities for improving their production, examined their properties, explored their reactions, and analyzed their composition. Eighteenth-century chemistry, in their words, could be seen as the most authoritative science of materials. Marini’s story relates to this ontology of materials in that it refers to experiments with chemical substances and subsequent changes in their materiality and meaning.

In: Nuncius
In: Nuncius
Exploring People and Nature, 1700–1850
The book analyses from a comparative perspective the exploration of territories, the histories of their inhabitants, and local natural environments during the long eighteenth century. The eleven chapters look at European science at home and abroad as well as at global scientific practices and the involvement of a great variety of local actors in the processes of mapping and recording. Dealing with landlocked territories with no colonies (like Switzerland) and places embedded in colonial networks, the book reveals multifarious entanglements connecting these territories.

Contributors are: Sarah Baumgartner, Simona Boscani Leoni, Stefanie Gänger, Meike Knittel, Francesco Luzzini, Jon Mathieu, Barbara Orland, Irina Podgorny, Chetan Singh, and Martin Stuber.
Die 18. Ausgabe des Archivs für Mediengeschichte ist den Folgen gewidmet, denen Geschichte – sei es als Ereignis, Struktur, Repräsentations- oder Denkform – durch die medialen Konstruktionen von „Deep Time“ und Mikrotemporalität ausgesetzt ist.
Damit schließt die Themenstellung vor allem an die Anthropozän-Debatte an, mit der der Begriff der Tiefenzeit eine aktuelle Konjunktur und in Bezug auf die Konzeptualisierung von Mediengeschichte verschiedene neue Akzentuierungen erfahren hat. Das Heft setzt sich zum Ziel, neben der Medialität der Tiefenzeit auch die Medialität der Mikrozeit und insbesondere die Art und die Konsequenzen ihrer operativen und epistemischen Verzahnung zu thematisieren. Es strebt an, die mit diesen Begriffen verbundenen Medien, Kulturtechniken, epistemologischen Sachverhalte, politischen Zwangslagen und geschichtstheoretischen Probleme aufeinander zu beziehen.
Mit Beiträgen von Lorenz Engell, Wolfgang Ernst, Abelardo Gil-Fournier, Patricia A. Gwozdz, Ann McGrath, Jussi Parikka, Jörg Paulus, Irina Podgorny, Reto Rössler, Eva Schauerte, Peter Schnyder, Patrick Stoffel, Oliver Völker, Geoffrey Winthrop-Young.