Crystalline Bodies

Fragments of a Cultural History of Tempered Glass

Lecture by Jeffrey T. Schnapp, Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures; Director, metaLAB (at) Harvard; Director, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University

Introduced and moderated by Leah Price, senior advisor to the humanities program, Academic Ventures, Radcliffe Institute and professor of English in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Within the framework of an overall theory of the cultural history of materials, this lecture reconstructs the role of tempered glass in the modernist imagination, from architecture (Giuseppe Terragni's Danteum and Casa del Fascio) to Gläserne Mensch (Glass Man) and Gläserne Frau (Glass Woman), the stars of the German Hygiene Museum in Dresden.

Jeffrey Schnapp is faculty director of metaLAB (at) Harvard and a codirector of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. Before moving to Harvard in 2011, he was the Rosina Pierotti Professor in Italian Literature at Stanford University, where he founded the Stanford Humanities Lab. A cultural historian with research interests extending from antiquity to the present, his most recent books are The Electric Information Age Book: McLuhan/Agel/Fiore and the Experimental Paperback (Princeton Architectural Press, 2011), with Adam Michaels; Modernitalia (Peter Lang, 2012), edited by Francesca Santovetti; and Digital_Humanities (MIT Press, 2012), cowritten with Anne Burdick, Johanna Drucker, Peter Lunenfeld, and Todd Presner. His work in the domains of digital arts and humanities and his curatorial practice includes collaborations with the Canadian Center for Architecture, the Triennale di Milano, and the Wolfsonian-FIU. He was project curator of the Trento Tunnels project—a 6,000-square-meter pair of highway tunnels repurposed as a history museum—which was featured in the Italian pavilion of the 2010 Venice Biennale and at the MAXXI. Schnapp earned his PhD at Stanford.

Lecture is free and open to the public. Doors open at 4:45 pm, and lecture begins at 5 pm. A reception will follow.