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CALL. 31.01.2018: Genealogy of Popular Science. From Ancient Ecphrasis to Virtual Reality - Karlsruh




LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Karlsruhe, Germany)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Dr. Jesús Muñoz Morcillo; Stephanie Rothe; Klemens Czurda

INFO: web -


Possible topics may include, but are by no means limited to:

Antiquity: ancient rhetoric and the ancient public, progymnasmata, ecphrasis, technical ecphrasis, didactic poetry, techniques for seeing the unseeable (enargeia), satire and science, protreptical speeches and exoteric texts, the public of ancient historiography, poikilography as science popularization, art and sophía, dissemination of myths and history in Greek pottery, aesthetics of education, places of knowledge and performance, depictions of philosophers and “scientists” in Antiquity.

Middle Ages: preacher as a human medium, vulgar Latin and Weltanschauung, world history in vernacular languages, enzyclopaedic telling, origin of the Studia Generalia, goliardic traditions, sacred art and Weltanschauung, the public of illuminated manuscripts, reformation and popularization of knowledge. Renaissance: emigration of Byzantine scholars and ideas in the West, impact of the printing machine in the popularization of knowledge, ecphrasis and painting, public lectures, the Theatrum Anatomicum, new science ex suppositione and superstition, the public of the cabinets of wonders, impact of the paragone delle arti on the dissemination of knowledge, public communication of inventions and discoveries. Modernity: the first modern science communicators, scientific experiments as spectacle for the public, the figure of the experimentator in the arts, satire and mode periodicals as source of popular scientific knowledge, relationship between inventions and decoration (e.g. Newton's cradle), legitimation discourses on natural sciences, social acceptability, depictions of scientists, women as early science communicators, poetry and science in the Romanticism, scientific bestsellers.

Contemporary: history of the modern science communication, origins and means of public understanding of science, scientific literacy, public engagement, the golden age of science publicists in the mass media (Carl Sagan, Attenborough, Kenneth Clark etc.), gender equality in science communication, art as science communication, new media and old techniques of science communication, virtual reality and museums etc. Cross-epochal topics: political function of science communication, gender issues, gender-issues, continuity and / or recurrence of certain communication formats, diachronic discourse analysis, representation of scientists and the public in the course of time.

Guidelines for Abstract Submission Researchers from Germany and abroad are invited to email an abstract for a paper (up to 500 words, in German or English) and a short CV to Dr. Jesús Muñoz Morcillo ( by January 31, 2018. The time allocated for a paper presentation is 30 minutes and 15 minutes for work-in-progress-presentations. Please, follow the instructions below.

  • Language: German or English

  • Format’s description: Lecture (30 min.) or Work-in-Progress-Talk (15 min.)

  • Lecture: relevant contribution to research, i.e., paper presentation

  • Work-in-Progress-Talk: preliminary results

  • Participation in the publication (yes/no)

  • Length of the title: max. 150 characters

  • Text body: 500 words (Arial 12px; 1,5 line spacing)

  • Bibliography: quoted texts and further literature

  • Curriculum Vitae

  • Contact details: surname, first name, E-Mail, institution, telephone


  • Submission of the abstract: Wednesday, 31 January 2018, at midnight

  • Author notification: Wednesday, 28 February 2018

  • Submission of the paper: Thursday, 31 May 2018, at midnight

  • Conference: Friday, 15 June 2018 (4 p.m.-8 p.m.) and Saturday, 16 June 2018 (9 a.m.-6 p.m.)

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