Dr. Sigrid Leyssen

foto sigrid neu-00127 April – 26 October 2018

Bio: Sigrid Leyssen is a postdoctoral researcher in the history of science and media. She has worked on a history of psychology’s experimental images, exploring the uses of film and various sorts of animation, of photography and drawings in the scientific practices of experimental psychology. She has a PhD (2017) in History of Science from the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), Paris, and in Media studies from the Universität Regensburg. In her dissertation Perception in Movement. Moving Images in Albert Michotte’s Experimental Psychology (1881-1965), she pursued a history of (moving) images used in perception experiments, and through these, she explored ways to study the history of perception.

Among her research interests are: Media Studies and their history; History of the Human Sciences; History of Psychology; History of Philosophy; History of Techniques; History of Experiment; Experimental Phenomenology; Filmology; History of Animation; Material and Sensory Cultures of Science; Scientific Images; Scientific Instruments; Science, Media and Religion; Historicity of Perception; Historical Reconstructions.

Before coming to Bucharest, she worked at the Department of the History of Science, Harvard University; EIKONES (NCCR) Iconic Criticism_The Power and Meaning of Images, Basel university; the Adolf-Würth-Zentrum für Geschichte der Psychologie, Universität Würzburg; Centre Alexandre Koyré – Histoire des Sciences et des Techniques, EHESS-CNRS; Institut für Information und Medien, Sprache und Kultur (I:IMSK), Universität Regensburg; the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science MPIWG Berlin; and the Maison Francaise d’Oxford, CNRS & Oxford University.

Project TitlePhenomenology, Filmology and the Experimental

Project Description: Filmology was founded in 1946 in Paris as the new science of film. It was conceived from the beginning as an international and interdisciplinary movement. In this project I study how scientists from different disciplines tried to work together to understand the effects of film on man and society. The focus is especially on the scientific methods these scientists proposed for studying film, and how their interactions shaped the notion and practice of the experimental, modelling the expectations placed in experiment and negotiating its reach. Many Filmologists agreed that animation film could offer a good experimental tool to study the effects of cinema, and I study their use and understanding of animation. The Filmology movement (1946-1963) can offer a cross-section of the human sciences, their interactions, and their engagement with media and society in the afterwar period. It shows their explorations of the right relations between applied and fundamental science. It also presents an important episode in the history of film and media studies, presenting an interesting case to understand how society has tried to construct knowledge on the challenges posed by new media and the different roles science has played in this. During my stay at IRH-ICUB in Bucharest, I study the interactions between scientists, phenomenologists and filmmakers in this context of filmology, studying their respective explorations of the experimental.

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