Anthropology Lecture – Sophia Roosth
Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Wolff Conference Room, Albert and Vera List Academic Center, 11036 East 16th Street, New York, NY 10011, Room D1103
Sophia Roosth, Frederick S. Danziger Associate Professor at Harvard University, delivers a lecture entitled “The Quick and the Dead: Seeking Latent Life in the Polar North”.
In her second book project, The Quick and the Dead, Roosth asks: At what pace must life proceed in order to count as life? How do qualities such as speed, slowness, time, and temperature shape the ways in which we think about life as form, pattern, or process? What is the place of latency in the life sciences and allied disciplines? Roosth interrogates these questions historically and anthropologically by attending to a variety of scientific communities, among them geobiologists and micropaleontologists seeking ancient microbial life-forms fossilized in stone; resurrection scientists seeking to insert ancient proteins into living cells; and researchers at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which stores samples of the world’s seeds for post-apocalyptic renewal. In her study, Roosth seeks to upset some of the assumptions that define life by privileging process over substance and form over matter.