Jessica Riskin

Associate Professor, History

Bldg. 200, Room 116
Stanford, CA 94305-2024
jriskin@stanford.edu

Background and current research:

Jessica Riskin received her B.A. from Harvard University and her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley and taught at Iowa State University and at MIT before coming to Stanford. Her research interests include Enlightenment science, politics and culture and the history of scientific explanation. She is the author of Science in the Age of Sensibility: The Sentimental Empiricists of the French Enlightenment (University of Chicago Press, 2002), which won the American Historical Association's J. Russell Major Prize for best book in English on any aspect of French history, and the editor of Genesis Redux: Essays in the History and Philosophy of Artificial Life (University of Chicago Press, 2007) and, with Mario Biagioli, of Nature Engaged: Science in Practice from the Renaissance to the Present (Palgrave, 2012). She is currently finishing a book on the history of mechanist accounts of life entitled The Restless Clock, forthcoming from Basic Books.

Books:

Science in the Age of Sensibility: The Sentimental Empiricists of the French Enlightenment

(University of Chicago Press, 2002).

prize:
American Historical Association, J. Russell Major Prize (2004) for best book in English on any aspect of French history.

reviews:
Patricia Fara, "Bright Sparks," in the Times Literary Supplement, 22 August 2003.
Larry Stewart in the American Historical Review
David Bates, in Eighteenth Century Thought, Vol. 2 (Summer 2004).
Joyce Chaplin, "Benjamin Franklin and Science: Continuing Opportunities for Study," in Perspectives on Science 14.2 (2006), 232-251.
David Howes, "Charting the Sensorial Revolution," in The Senses and Society, Vol. 1, issue 1 (March 2006), 113-128.
Marijn S. Kaplan, in the French Review, Vol. 77, no. 5 (April 2004), 1039.
Dorinda Outram, in British Journal for the History of Science, Vol. 37, Issue 133 (June 2004), 210-211.
J.B. Shank, "The Sciences in Old Regime France: A Review of Recent Scholarship," in French Historical Studies, 28 (Fall 2005), 661-695.
Stéphane Van Damme, "Reason and sentiment: The Enlightenment, golden age of the translation of the sciences?" in Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science Part A, Volume 35, Issue 2 (June 2004), 383-389.
Sarah Knott in The History of European Ideas
James McLellan in the Journal of Interdisciplinary History

[editor] Genesis Redux: Essays on the History and Philosophy of Artificial Life

(University of Chicago Press, 2007).

review:

Greg Bear, "Is Artificial Life Moving Any Closer?," in Nature, 450, 612 (29 November 2007) | doi:10.1038/450612a; Published online 28 November 2007.

[editor, with Mario Biagioli] Nature Engaged: Science in Practice from the Renaissance to the Present (Palgrave, 2012)

 

The Restless Clock. Forthcoming from Basic Books.

Selected articles:

"The Restless Clock." In Paula Findlen, ed., Early Modern Things: Objects and their Histories, 1500-1800 (New York: Routledge, 2012): Ch. 3.

"The Divine Optician." In "Forum: The Senses in History," The American Historical Review, Vol. 116, no. 2 (April 2011): 352-370.

"The Adventures of Mr. Machine, With Morals," in A Cultural History of the Human Body, Vol. 4: A History of the Human Body in the Age of Enlightenment, 1650-1800, ed. Carole Reeves (Oxford: Berg, 2010): Ch 4, pp. 73-92.

"Machines in the Garden." Republics of Letters: A Journal for the Study of Knowledge, Politics, and the Arts 1, no. 2 (April 3, 2010). A second version appears in Mario Biagioli and Jessica Riskin, eds., Nature Engaged: Science in Practice from the Renaissance to the Present (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2012): Ch. 11.

"Mr. Machine and the Imperial Me," in The Super-Enlightenment: Daring to Know Too Much, ed. Dan Edelstein, special issue of Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century 2010.01, 75-94.

"Amusing Physics." In Joyce E. Chaplin, ed., Harvard Library Bulletin 2007, special catalog issue on Benjamin Franklin. [Reprinted in Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent, ed., Science and Spectacle in the European Enlightenment (Ashgate, forthcoming 2007).]

"The Defecating Duck, Or, The Ambiguous Origins of Artificial Life." in Critical Inquiry Summer 2003, Vol. 20, no. 4, 599-633. [Reprinted in Bill Brown, ed., Things (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004), 99-133].

"Eighteenth-Century Wetware." in Representations, Summer 2003, no. 83: 97-125. [Reprinted in Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent and William Newman, eds., The Artificial and the Natural: An Evolving Polarity (MIT Press, forthcoming 2007).]

"The 'Spirit of System' and the Fortunes of Physiocracy." In Oeconomies in the Age of Newton, eds. Neil De Marchi and Margaret Schabas. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2003: 42-73.

"The Lawyer and the Lightning Rod." In Science in Context, 12, 1 (1999): 61-99. [Reprinted in Susan Silbey, ed., Law and Science Volume I: Epistemological, Evidentiary, and Relational Engagements (Ashgate, forthcoming 2008).]

"Poor Richard's Leyden Jar: Electricity and Economy in Franklinist France," in Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences,Vol. 28, Part 2 (1998): 301-336.

"Rival Idioms for a Revolutionized Science and a Republican Citizenry." in Isis 1998, 89: 203-232.

"Science in the Age of Sensibility." In Bruno Latour and Peter Weibel, eds., Making Things Public (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2005), 722-726.

"La Machine, l'art et l'étron." in La Recherche hors série no. 12, July-September 2003: 51-53.

"Robespierre, l'avocat et le paratonnerre." in La Recherche hors série no. 8, July/August/September 2002: 86-91.

"Le canard, l'homme et le robot." in La Recherche, no 350, February 2002: 36-40.

"Duckshit and Damask." in Jennifer Riddell, ed., Eve Andrée Laramée : A Permutational Unfolding. Cambridge: List Visual Arts Center, MIT, 1999: 45-51.

"Chimie et Revolution: Le Pouvoir des Mots." in La Recherche, no. 320, May 1999: 75-80.

"Künstliches Leben produzieren. Denkparallelen im Automatenbau des 18. Jahrhunderts und heute," In Barbara Orland, ed., Artifizielle Körper lebendige Technik: Technische Modellierungen des Körpers in historischer Perspektive. Zürich: Chronos Verlag, 2005.

"Newtonianism." In The Oxford Companion to the History of Modern Science. Edited by J.L. Heilbron. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003: 574-576.

"Dimostrazioni e intrattenimento." In Storia della scienza, ed. Sandro Petruccioli, Roma, Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, 10 vols., 2001-, Vol. VI, 2002, pp. 139-143.

"Gli amusements aeriformi," "Gli amusements imponderabili," "Gli amusements automatici." In Storia della scienza, ed. Sandro Petruccioli, Roma, Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, 10 vols., 2001-, Vol. VI, pp. 261-268.

"I parafulmini." In Storia della scienza, ed. Sandro Petruccioli, Roma, Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, 10 vols., 2001-, Vol. VI, pp. 275-278.

"Condillac, Etienne Bonnot de," Encyclopedia of Psychology, edited by Alan E. Kazdin (Oxford University Press, 2000), Vol. 2: 255-56.

"La Mettrie, Julien Offray de la," Encyclopedia of Psychology, edited by Alan E. Kazdin (Oxford University Press, 2000), Vol. 4: 471-72.

Courses:


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