The Program in Media and Modernity Presents
The Quick and the Dead
October 11th, 6:00pm
Sophia Roosth, Frederick S. Danziger Associate Professor of the History of Science, Harvard University
Respondent: Lucia Allais, Assistant Professor, History and Theory of Architecture, Princeton University
How quickly must life proceed to count as life? How do qualities such as speed and slowness, time and temperature shape the ways in which we think about life as form, pattern, or process? Roosth interrogates these questions by traveling to Svalbard, an archipelago in the Polar North, to investigate how living things are frozen and paused for reanimation. In this talk she meditates on three kinds of latent life she found there: the frozen bodies of 1918 flu victims, abandoned Soviet coal mining villages, and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which gathers seeds for post-apocalyptic renewal.