Publication: Sex and Gender in F.J. Gall’s Organology

It took quite some time, but my article “Matters of Sex and Gender in F. J. Gall’s Organology: A Primary Approach” was finally published online in the Journal of the History of the Neurosciences. If your institution does not have a subscription to the Journal, simply email me, and I will give you access to one of 50 remaining free eprints.

Here is the abstract: Continue reading

Help Needed for Survey of (Natural/Medical/Social) Scientists

Today I want to ask you to contribute your perspective on sex/gender and other types of classification of human subjects in your research on behalf of my Berlinian colleague Diana Schellenberg (psychologist). Please find her call for participants for her study below. (And PLEASE take the time to support her research, since it’s very important from a meta-science point of view; besides that, she asked me to post this announcement on my weblog, so it’s also about my being able to motivate readers to participate—reimbursement with chocolate and gratitude is guaranteed if you let me know that you completed the survey.) Continue reading

M.A. Thesis: Functional Magnetic Resonance Phrenology?

In the process of revising a paper on F.J. Gall’s conception of sex/gender and the status of sexuality in his so-called organological doctrine, I reread two German articles by Frank Stahnisch (who is a great scholar and an incredibly helpful person): “Über die Natur des weiblichen Gehirns” and “Über die neuronale Natur des Weiblichen.”1 I was reminded how beautiful it is to read—and write—German texts.2 Apart from very few long emails, the last substantial thing I have written in the tongue of the umlauts is my M.A. thesis. I won’t publish it, but it seems a shame not to make it accessible. I included an English description of its argument in my very first blog post. Continue reading

Quick Updates on Sex/Stats and Latour

As I promised before I got almost entirely caught up in working hard on my final assignments, I asked Kevin Gotkin to pass along the Latour analogy sheet he compiled for our class. Download it here, and enjoy!

Besides, I wanted to share the abstract of the Tukey/Kinsey paper I am currently working on. I shared my research proposal with you earlier. I will not post the whole thing, because I intend to make this a publishable article. Thus, this is only meant to stimulate your thoughts, and maybe you would like to share them (comment or email!). Continue reading

Impressive Brains: Latour and Bechdel, Cartoons and ANT

“I am not a closed circuit; I don’t trust my own subjectivity. This is why I try to get as much outside-assertion as I can.”—It’s almost a month ago since Alison Bechdel stated this confession during her keynote address for the Queer Method Conference at Penn on October 31st. I suggest you find a way to get to know her work, listen to her, and see her (!). But try not to freak out during Q&A and tell her how much you admire her, or she will ask you to “please, keep cool.” Afterwards, I suggest you go home and read Latour’s Reassembling the Social. Continue reading

“A very Unusual Person”

I do not read horoscopes, but I love personality tests. I admit that this is weird, because one makes promises (nearly?) as false as the other, but I find the attempt of measuring human character and abilities in numbers marvelously interesting. Finally, with my project on the methodological review of the Kinsey Report, I have a respectable reason for taking some of these tests during my work time—and learn about my sexual orientation. Continue reading

Research Paper: Sex and Stats

One of the courses I am attending this year is a research seminar on Cold War science. I am not sure how to phrase this—”despite” or “even though”—, but as a student in Germany, I had no idea what impact the Cold War had on natural and social sciences, and how deeply intertwined modern genetics and the atomic bomb are, for example. These Tuesday classes are definitely my least enjoyable regarding subject matter, because I simply cannot deal unemotionally with human experiments, hydrogen bombs, and non-heterosexuals driven into suicide. Yet, it is one of my (three) favorite classes; since not only what I learn concerning methodology and content, but also my excitement for my own research project within the course exceed my expectations. Continue reading