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USC Berggruen Fellows Brown Bag Lecture Series

Cameron Brinitzer, 2022-23 USC Berggruen Fellow

Respondent: Aro Velmet, Assistant Professor of History, USC

Wednesday, September 7, 2022
Taper Hall (THH) 309K
In-person event

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Please RSVP by Friday, September 2, 2022 to reserve a boxed lunch.

Since the mid-twentieth century, an array of life and mind scientists have centered the concept of culture in novel research programs, investigating this old epistemic thing with new scientific techniques. Cameron Brinitzer's project asks how culture—long considered something that one could only understand through sustained periods of immersive research “in the field”—has been transformed into an object of experimental knowledge production in mind and life science laboratories. Weaving historical and anthropological modes of inquiry, he describes the formation of a new domain of research in the life and mind sciences named Cultural Evolution, and the human practices, theoretical frameworks, material sites, and technical instruments with which these scientists study culture in terms of evolutionary and cognitive mechanisms. At the same time, Dr. Brinitzer examines an emerging politics of culture in Central Europe, where his fieldwork was based, in which science and liberal institutions have been identified as political threats and directly attacked by avowedly illiberal political actors.

This event is co-sponsored by the USC Center on Science, Technology, and Public Life, the Berggruen Institute, and the USC Department of Anthropology.

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  • Emily Anderson

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