Course Ph.D. Masterclass with Lorraine Daston


Course leader: Christian Christiansen

Language: English

Graduate school: Faculty of Arts

Course fee: 0.00 DKK

Status: Course is open for application

Semester: Spring 2023

Application deadline: 14/04/2023

Start date: 26/05/2023

Administrator: Henriette Jaquet


All students are placed on a waiting list until we reach application deadline.

This Ph.d.-masterclass with Lorraine Daston (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science) (please see below) will offer participants a chance of discussing texts by Daston, to present their own work, and reflect upon how their own research may gain from engaging with Daston’s work. The overall themes of this methodologically oriented masterclass are STS, Science and Technology Studies (STS), and the history of science. Students are required to read about 100 pages of different readings by Daston, and to send a 3-5 page project description or case study or other short text of their own choosing (Ph.D. students should submit their own, short research text three weeks prior to the class, i.e. no later than Friday, May 5th). The three hour masterclass is thus comprised of two, main sections: a) discussion of Daston’s work and b) discussion and feedback on minor texts by Ph.D.-students. In addition, Ph.D. students shall participate in the honorary lecture given by Lorraine Daston in the afternoon.  

Lorraine Daston has published on a wide range of topics in the history of science, including the history of probability and statistics, wonders in early modern science, the emergence of the scientific fact, scientific models, objects of scientific inquiry, the moral authority of nature, and the history of scientific objectivity. Recent books include Gegen die Natur (2018; English edition Against Nature, 2019) as well as Science in the Archives (2017) and (with Paul Erikson et al.) How Reason Almost Lost Its Mind: The Strange Career of Cold War Rationality (2014), the latter two both products of MPIWG Working Groups. 

Her current projects include a history of rules, the meaning of modernity in the history of science, international governance in science since the late nineteenth century, and the relationship between moral and natural orders.

She is the recipient of the Pfizer Prize and Sarton Medal of the History of Science Society, the Schelling Prize of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences, the Lichtenberg Medal of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences, the Luhmann Prize of the University of Bielefeld, and honorary doctorates from Princeton University and the Hebrew University. In 2018 she was awarded the Dan David Prize in the History of Science. In addition to directing Department II of the MPIWG, she is a regular Visiting Professor in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago and Permanent Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. (Source:


To gain deeper insights into Daston’s research; to relate own research to Daston’s and develop new perspectives on own research. 


Reading List for University of Aarhus Seminar

Lorraine Daston:

Rules: A Short History of What We Live By (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2022), chapter 2 (pp. 23-47)

“The Coup d’Oeil: On a Mode of Understanding,” Critical Inquiry 45(2019): 307-331.

“The Immortal Archive: Nineteenth-Century Science Imagines the Future,” in Science in the Archives: Pasts, Presents, Futures, ed. Lorraine Daston (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017), pp. 159-182.

“The History of Science and the History of Knowledge,” KNOW 1(2017): 1-25.

Target group:

Ph.D.-students, all stages of their Ph.D., working in the fields of intellectual history, history of science, and Science and Technology Studies (STS) 


Seminar with active participation (discussion), short oral presentation of Ph.D.-project, and discussion of Ph.D.-students submitted short research works. Ph.D.-students are also expected to participate in Daston’s honorary lecture (the Sløk-lecture) in the afternoon


Lorraine Daston (

Christian Olaf Christiansen ( (Course organizer; please direct all questions concerning academic content here)


Nobelparken, Aarhus University, Jens Chr. Skous Vej 7, Building 1467, Room 616 

Course dates:

  • 26 May 2023 09:00 - 12:00