Scroll down to learn about our three organizers, student assistants, and the sponsors who are making the project possible.
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Cory Doctorow is a science fiction author, activist, journalist and blogger — the co-editor of Boing Boing. He works for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, is a MIT Media Lab Research Affiliate, is a Visiting Professor of Computer Science at Open University and co-founded the UK Open Rights Group. He is the author of Walkaway, a novel for adults, a YA graphic novel called In Real Life, the nonfiction business book Information Doesn't Want to Be Free, and young adult novels like Homeland, Pirate Cinema, and Little Brother, and novels for adults like Rapture of the Nerds and Makers. He . Born in Toronto, Canada, he now lives in Los Angeles. Photo by Jonathan Worth. More.
Professor of History & History of Science
Adrian Johns works on printing, publishing and information technologies, from the early modern world to the present, especially in England. He chairs the Committee on Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science. He is the author of Death of a Pirate: British Radio and the Making of the Information Age (Norton, 2010), Piracy: The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates (Chicago, 2009), and The Nature of the Book: Print and Knowledge in the Making (Chicago, 1998), as well as dozens of papers in the histories of science, the book, media, and information. Educated at the University of Cambridge, he has also taught at the University of Kent at Canterbury, the University of California, San Diego, and the California Institute of Technology. More.
Associate Professor of History
Ada Palmer is a historian and novelist, who works on transmission of radical ideas in hostile intellectual environments. She specializes in the Renaissance and Enlightenment, but also looks from antiquity to modernity for patterns in the ways societies respond to unwelcome ideas. Her publications include work on Lucretius and atomism in the Renaissance, on revivals of Platonism, Pythagoreanism, stoicism, and heterodox ideas about the soul and afterlife, and censorship of comic books in Japan after World War II. She is also the author of the science fiction series Terra Ignota, which imagines censorship's evolution into the 25th century. More
Student Project Assistants:
Editorial & Teaching Assistant
John-Paul Heil is a Ph.D student in the Department of History, and works on questions of politics and patronage in early modernity. He specializes in the Italian Renaissance, particularly the Quattrocento court of Naples, and is interested in the intellectual history of virtue and how it developed as a pedagogical and humanist concept before Machiavelli. He is the founder of the student organization Sodalitas and was the teaching fellow for the 2017 course 'Censorship from the Inquisition to the Present' which helped prepare the censorship exhibit.
Julia Tomasson is a student of the history of science, specializing in the history of mathematics in premodern Europe. She is interested in the preconditions for reliable knowledge and ratiocination, and her research focuses on the changing epistemic categories and practices of scholars in early modernity. She received her B.A. from the University of Chicago in 2018. She has been part of the project since its inception, and is spending a pre-doctoral year working as a research and editorial assistant for it. She is the main assistant curator for the exhibit, and is the primary editor of the exhibit catalog, and was also the primary editorial assistant for the "Tensions in Renaissance Cities" exhibit catalog, produced in partnership with Ada Palmer and the Special Collections Research Center in 2016.
The sponsors whose support is making the project possible:
Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society
Through faculty research projects, a global fellows initiative, and exhibitions, the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society explores novel approaches to complex human questions at the University of Chicago and beyond. Learn more.
Institute on the Formation of Knowledge
The Institute on the Formation of Knowledge opened in the Fall of 2015 at the University of Chicago. It was founded with the mission of uniting scholars from a variety of fields to study the process of knowledge formation and transmittal from antiquity to the present day and, in correlation, to explore how this history shapes the modern world. Learn More.
To bring more of this project to the public, we have turned to you to crowdfund us through Kickstarter. Generous backers are helping us share the videos of the speaker series online, with closed captioning for accessibility, helping us produce the printed exhibit catalog, with color images and supplementary essays. Learn more on Kickstarter.