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9/16/11 - Music, science historians coming to MSU for weekend workshop

U.S. and German historians who research intersections of science, sound and music culture during the 19th and 20th centuries will gather Friday, Sept.16 at Mississippi State.

The 20 researchers are taking part in a three-day workshop sponsored by the university's history department and organized by faculty member Alexandra Hui. They will examine various topics related to science, sound studies and musicology.

The special event is affiliated with the History of Science Society, the world's largest body dedicated to a better understanding of science, technology medicine, and their interactions with society. The organization has more than 3,000 individual and institutional members worldwide.

Hui, an assistant professor, said that, while many of the participants focus on the history of science or mathematics, several others have extensive knowledge in musicology and media studies. Research papers discussed at the workshop will appear in an upcoming academic journal of the society, "Osiris."

Open to the general public, the meetings will take place in the Charles H. Templeton Music Museum of Mitchell Memorial Library. Persons interested in attending are requested, however, to contact Hui in advance at 662-325-3604 or

"Rarely do historians get to sit together and hash out their arguments and flesh out interesting issues like this," she explained. "It's an opportunity to see how history is written."

Joining her will be faculty members from Rice and New York universities, the universities of Oregon and Pennsylvania, and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin.

In addition to serving as workshop organizer, Hui will present a research paper titled "Dead Ears and Dead Ends? Ernst Mach's and Max Planck's studies of accommodation in hearing as a basis for the theory of music."

The MSU history department is co-sponsoring the workshop with the Dibner Family Professor of the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University.

Offices of the Provost and of Research and Economic Development and the College of Arts and Sciences at MSU also provide support for the workshop.

Robbie S. Ward | University Relations

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