In this episode, Haley Brennan speaks with Elliott Chen, New Narratives Post-Doc and Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Xavier University starting Fall 2022, about his work on two early modern women philosophers of science: Émilie du Châtelet and Laura Bassi. We talk about du Châtelet’s arguments against essential gravity and Newtonian attraction, and Bassi’s experiments with electricity. We discuss the differences between undertaking a project on a figure like du Châtelet, for whom there is now a growing body of literature, versus a figure like Bassi, who has received almost no philosophical attention. We talk about why it is worth taking on projects on figures like Bassi, how you get going on this kind of project, and the variety of work you can do. This episode is the second in a series of interviews with New Narratives Postdocs, past and present.
Émilie du Châtelet, Foundations of Physics (1740)
Laura Bassi, De acqua corpore naturali element aliorum corporum parte universi (1732, untranslated)
Monique Frize, Laura Bassi and Science in 18th Century Europe: The Extraordinary Life and Role of Italy’s Pioneering Female Professor. Heidelberg, Springer: 2013.
Laura Bassi: The World’s First Woman Professor in Natural Philosophy, edited by Luisa Cifarelli and Raffaella Simili. Cham, Springer: 2020.
In this episode, Haley Brennan speaks with Dalitso Ruwe, Assistant Professor of Black Political Thought at Queen’s University, about his project of locating and understanding genealogies of Black and African philosophy. We talk about 18th century ontological and Biblical arguments against slavery, the relationship between practical and intellectual revolutions, and what it means to disrupt a system. We also discuss the value of each person’s own philosophical genealogy, and how to find philosophical content in a text. This episode is the first of a series of interviews with New Narratives Postdocs, past and present.
Frederick Douglass, “Letter from Frederick Douglass to his old master: extracted from the ‘North star’."
The Derrick Bell Reader, edited by Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic.
James W. C. Pennington, The Fugitive Blacksmith: or, Events in the History of James W. C. Pennington, Pastor of a Presbyterian Church, New York, Formerly a Slave in the State of Maryland, United States
Negro Orators and their Orations, edited by Carter G. Woodson.
Lift Every Voice: African American Oratory, 1787-1901, edited by Philip S. Foner and Robert Branham.
Early Negro Writing, 1760-1837, edited by Dorothy Porter.
Angela Davis, Abolition Democracy: Beyond Prisons, Torture, and Empire.
John Henrik Clarke, Critical Lessons in Slavery and the Slave Trade: Essential Studies and Commentaries on Slavery, in General, and the African Slave Trade, in Particular.
Elizabeth McHenry, Forgotten Reader: Recovering the Lost History of African American Literary Societies
Olivia Branscum is a PhD student in Philosophy at Columbia University. She is co-producer of the ENN New Voices podcast