Posts filed under ‘Publications’

Cycles and circulation: a theme in the history of biology and medicine

Cycles and circulation: a theme in the history of biology and medicine,”History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43:89 (2021), 1-39. [PDF]

Nick Hopwood, Staffan Müller‑Wille, Janet Browne, Christiane Groeben, Shigehisa Kuriyama, Maaike van der Lugt, Guido Giglioni, Lynn K. Nyhart, Hans‑Jörg Rheinberger, Ariane Dröscher, Warwick Anderson, Peder Anker, Mathias Grote, Lucy van de Wiel, The Fifteenth Ischia Summer School on the History of the Life Sciences

Abstract

We invite systematic consideration of the metaphors of cycles and circulation as a long-term theme in the history of the life and environmental sciences and medicine. Ubiquitous in ancient religious and philosophical traditions, especially in representing the seasons and the motions of celestial bodies, circlesonce symbolized perfection. Over the centuries cyclic images in western medicine, natural philosophy, natural history and eventually biology gained independence from cosmology and theology and came to depend less on strictly circular forms. As potent ‘canonical icons’, cycles also interacted with representations of linear and irreversible change, including arrows, arcs, scales, series and trees, as in theories of the Earth and of evolution. In modern times life cycles and reproductive cycles have often been held to characterize life, in some cases especially female life, while human efforts selectively to foster and disrupt these cycles have harnessed their productivity in medicine and agriculture. But strong cyclic metaphors have continued to link physiology and climatology, medicine and economics, and biology and manufacturing, notably through the relations between land, food and population. From the grand nineteenth-century transformations of matter to systems ecology, the circulation of molecules through organic and inorganic compartments has posed the problem of maintaining identity in the face of flux and highlights the seductive ability of cyclic schemes to imply closure where no original state was in fact restored. More concerted attention to cycles and circulation will enrich analyses of the power of metaphors to naturalize understandings of life and their shaping by practical interests and political imaginations.

August 23, 2021 at 11:16 am Leave a comment

My review of Jane Addams’ Evolutionary Theorizing

Marilyn Fischer, Jane Addams’s Evolutionary Theorizing: Constructing “Democracy and Social Ethics.” (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019).

ISIS 112:1 (March 2021), p. 195-196 [PDF]

March 30, 2021 at 6:34 pm Leave a comment

Deep Impact

Terreform ONE, Mitchel Joachim, Peder Anker, Nicholas Gervasi, “Deep Impact: Animal-, Plant- or Insect-Aided Design as techniques to mitigate stress on urban non-human species,” Topos Magazine, 112 (Sept. 2020), 32-37.

Get the Topos Magazine here.

Presenting the article at the “Critical Density: Health, Ecology, Economy & Equity” symposium. New York Institute of Technology, Sept. 30 2020, at the 14:20 mark.

September 26, 2020 at 1:32 pm Leave a comment

My review of Embattled River

David Schuyler, Embattled River: The Hudson and Modern American Environmentalism, (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2018).

 The Journal of American Studies, 54:4 (2020), E50. [PDF]

September 21, 2020 at 4:41 pm Leave a comment

My review of The Responsive Environment

Larry D. Busbea, The Responsive Environment: Design, Aesthetics and the Human in the 1970s. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2020).

Environmental History, 25:4 (2020). [PDF]

September 21, 2020 at 4:14 pm Leave a comment

My Review of The Environment and International History

Scott Kaufman, The Environment and International History, (London: Bloomsbury, 2018).

Environmental History 25:3 (2020), 548-550. PDF

May 25, 2020 at 10:44 am 1 comment

The Power of the Periphery: How Norway Became an Environmental Pioneer for the World

Anker, Frontpage, CUP 2020

The Power of the Periphery: How Norway Became an Environmental Pioneer for the World, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2020).

Abstract

What is the source of Norway’s culture of environmental harmony in our troubled world? Exploring the role of Norwegian scholar-activists of the late twentieth century, Peder Anker examines how they portrayed their country as a place of environmental stability in a world filled with tension. In contrast with societies dirtied by the hot and cold wars of the twentieth century, Norway’s power, they argued, lay in the pristine, ideal natural environment of the periphery. Globally, a beautiful Norway came to be contrasted with a polluted world and fashioned as an ecological microcosm for the creation of a better global macrocosm. In this innovative, interdisciplinary history, Anker explores the ways in which ecological concerns were imported via Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in 1962, then to be exported from Norway back to the world at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

Reviews

Josh Berry, “The Power of the Periphery,” Environmental Philosophy, 18:1 (2021), 151-154. [PDF]

Peder Roberts, “The Power of the Periphery,” Isis, 112:3 (Sept. 2021), 635-636. [PDF]

Gregory Ferguson-Cradler, “The Power of the Periphery,” Environment and History, 27:3 (2021), 505-507. [PDF]

Elena Kochetkova, “The Power of the Periphery,” Technology and Culture, 62:3 (July 2021), 941-942. [PDF]

Hedda Susanne Molland, “Å kle seg i miljønasjonens drakt,” Salongen, May 4, 2021.

Anders Dunker, “Den norske dobbeltmoralen,” Ny tid, August 2020, 4-5. [Page 1], [Page 2]. English edition

Summary in Norwegian

Peder Anker, “Periferiens makt: Historia om miljøvitenskapen,” Syn og segn, 3:126 (2020), 69-75.

Blog-post 

Peder Anker, “Greenwashing Norway“, Nordic Branding, Sept. 8, 2021. 

Nils Faarlund, “Full spredning av øko-filosofi”, Norges høgfjellsskole, June 4, 2021.  

Peder Anker, “Cabin Lockout“, Cambridge blog, Sept. 30, 2020.

Book talks

Venice Biennale 2021, May 21, 2021. [Video]

Environmental History Week, April 19. 2021.

The National Library of Norway, April 12. 2021

Department of History, University of Bergen, Feb. 18, 2021.

Department of Philosophy, NTNU Trondheim, Feb. 9 2021

The Oslo School of Architecture and Design, Jan. 21, 2021.

The Greenhouse, University of Stavanger, Nov. 2, 2020. [Video]

History of Science Society’s Annual Meeting, Oct. 8, 2020. [Video]

Institute of Public Knowledge, New York University, Oct. 6 2020. [Video]

Get the book

US $ | Eur € | Brit £ | Can $ | Open Access (free download).

February 14, 2020 at 2:55 pm Leave a comment

My review of Climate in Motion

download

Deborah R. Coen, Climate in Motion: Science, Empire, and the Problem of Scale, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2018).

H-Environment Roundtable Reviews, Jan. 17., 2020. [PDF]

January 17, 2020 at 10:06 am Leave a comment

Gas and Bees: An Evident Proclamation

Cover_-Design-with-Life-web“Gas and Bees: An Evident Proclamation” by Anna Bokov with Nina Edwards Anker, Peder Anker, Mitch Joachim, in Mitchell Joachim and Maria Aiolova, Design with Life:  Biotech Architecture and Resilient Cities, (Barcelona: Actar, 2019), 36-38.

Get the book here.

December 13, 2019 at 12:33 pm Leave a comment

Computing Environmental Design

9780815396529

“Computing Environmental Design,” Computer Architectures: Constructing the Common Ground, 1945-1980, Theodora Vardouli and Olga Touloumi (eds.), (London: Routledge, 2019), 15-34.

Read Ebook online here (requires library access).

This is the long version of this article. Download PDF of the article here.

Abstract

In December 1964 the Boston Architectural Center organizedthe first conference on the role of computers in architecture – an issue that designers had been pondering since the 1950s. The questionat stake in such debates had been the relationship between artists and machines. Environmental design proved to be an unlikely question that emerged in the discussion, with architect and designer Serge Chermayeff noting that with computers environmental complexities could now come under the purview of architecture. Only a year earlier Chermayeff had published the seminal book Community and Privacy: Toward a New Architecture of Humanismwith Christopher Alexander, wherethe two authors had argued for a humanism that placed environmental concerns at the forefront. At the conference Chermayeff argued that computers constituted a critical tool for analyzing and comprehending environmental complexity, allowing for the integration of the built within the natural environment. “Our survival depends upon our ability to master new complexities” he argued, “with the best technology at our disposal.” This optimism with respect to how computers could help in solving environmental problems was shared among modernist designers, most notably by Richard Buckminster Fuller, but also among ecologists and biologists of the period. Computers could order both the human and natural environment using the same language, thus bringing landscape and architectural design in dialogue. Yet computers of the time were cumbersome to work with and getting access to them was not a matter of course. The architects’ musings about computers ultimately had to do with imagined futures for the design disciplinesand not so much thepractical exigencies of the time. By focusing on Serge Chermayeff’s critical response to the introduction of computers as tools for grasping and communicating complexity, this paper will interrogate the emergence ofcomplexity as an aesthetic and design problem, formative for the introduction of computing to architectural design.

November 27, 2019 at 10:25 am Leave a comment

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