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Historical Linguists Take to the Field: scientific encounters with “living language” in Germany, 1915-1918

November 29, 2010 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Monday Seminar:

Judith Kaplan

William Coleman Dissertation Fellow (2010-2011)

History of Science, UW-Madison


This presentation begins with a sketch of Judith’s dissertation research on the history of language sciences in Imperial Germany. It will identify factors that contributed to a shift from ancient to contemporary evidence in studies on the “life” of language. The focal point of discussion will be the Royal Prussian Phonographic Commission, which opportunistically collected a range of sonic samples from prisoners of war held in camps throughout Germany during World War I. Taking the contributions of Friedrich Carl Andreas (1846-1930) as its central case study, the paper will explore the significance of this undertaking for the integration and historiography of anthropology, linguistics, and the field sciences.


William Coleman Dissertation Fellow at the IRH, Judy Kaplan is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of the History of Science at the University of Wisconsin Madison. She holds a Master of Arts degree from that program as well as a Masters of Science from the University of Illinois in Disability Studies. In addition to several internal fellowships, she was a recipient of a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant in 2009. Recently, she has presented papers at workshops organized by the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Chicago and Berlin.


November 29, 2010
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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University Club, Room 212
432 East Campus Mall
Madison, Wisconsin 53703 United States