Janina Wellmann is a historian at Leuphana University of Lüneburg, in Germany. She studies the history of the life sciences from the early modern period to today in a broad interdisciplinary perspective with a particular focus on ways, practices, and media of visualizing the living world.
During her stay at Radcliffe, Wellmann is completing a book on biological motion, presenting a comprehensive history of concepts, images, and ways of moving in biology from the 18th century to today. The book examines motion in the living world not as a simple given, but as a quality in relation to how we produce the knowledge about motion in a specific historical and cultural setting. Studying concepts and visualizations of motion in history, then, reveals changing notions of what it means to be alive, past and present.
Wellmann, who earned her doctorate from Technische Universität Berlin and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, in Paris, received the 2008 Förderpreis of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, which supports highly talented young scientists. Before taking up her current position she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science Berlin and the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas at Tel Aviv University.