Animals and Experiments, Conversations about Literature and Science – Thalia Field – Justin E. H. Smith

Publié le 22 novembre 2021

22 novembre 2021 - 18 h 00 min - 20 h 00 min

Please join us on campus or on Zoom for a conversation between Thalia Field (writer and Professor at Brown University) and Justin E. H. Smith (Professor in the department of history and philosophy of science at Université de Paris).

Please write to receive the Zoom link.

Location :

  • Université de Paris
    Bâtiment Olympe de Gouges, room 830
    Place Paul Ricœur 75013 Paris
  • How to get there


Who, of experts and the general public, can legitimately comment on the ethics of science?

What is the role of the artist in shaping science history/anti-history?

Can storytelling and aesthetics become forms of activism?

Is fiction a suitable genre to “think” and argue?

How does one narrate pain?

How can one retrieve the voices of those (animals, women and other minorities) who have been silenced in the archive?

What is the history of the sexist smear on anti-science works disparaged as “hysterical” and “sentimental”?

What role do counter-narratives play in the history of science’s dialectical evolution (progress/pushback)?


Thalia Field has published four collections with New Directions, including the most recent, Personhood, a companion to Bird Lovers, Backyard and an exploration of animal-human relations in narrative and language. Inquiry into our shared animal history also drives her novel Experimental Animals: A Reality Fiction (Solid Objects) about the origins of animal experimentation in 19th century Paris, and the activists who tried to stop it. Other books include A Prank of Georges and Leave to Remain (Legends of Janus), both written in collaboration with French translator Abigail Lang and exploring experiments in translation, theatricality, and literary genre. Before writing books, Thalia worked as a theater artist in New York, Paris, Marseille, and Berlin, publishing a play, « Hey-Stop-That! » in Theater magazine, and writing opera libretti. Thalia Field is the Adele Kellenberg Seaver Professor of Creative Writing at Brown University and currently the faculty director of the Brown Arts Institute. She is a visiting professor at LARCA in November 2021.


Justin E. H. Smith is a professor in the department of history and philosophy of science and a researcher in the laboratoire Sphère of the Université de Paris. He is the author of Divine Machines: Leibniz and the Sciences of Life (2011), Nature, Human Nature, and Human Difference: Race in Early Modern Philosophy (2017), Irrationality: A History of the Dark Side of Reason (2019) and, most recently, of The Internet Is Not What You Think It Is (2022), all published by Princeton University Press. He is a member of the ESTAR(SER) research collective, and in this connection is co-author (or “co-editor”), with D. Graham Burnett and Catherine Hansen, of a work of historiographical metafiction, In Search of The Third Bird: Exemplary Essays from the Proceedings of ESTAR(SER), 2001-2021 appearing in November, 2021, from Strange Attractor Press.