On today’s show, we embark on the first of what I hope will be many virtual excursions together. This time we visit Berlin, Germany. This beautiful city is famous for its political and cultural past, but also has a fascinating history in science and medicine.
There is so much to examine, but this episode will focus on Charité — an institution founded as a plague hospital that ended up treating soldiers, training medical students, hosting the founding work of modern pathology, and most recently housing a history of medicine museum — and the Berlin Phonogram Archive, a founding institution for ethnomusicology and a key voice in early twentieth century evolutionary arguments about race.
Host essays: “I Feel Your Pain” and “Evolution in Four-Part Harmony”
- for further reading/viewing/listening:
- Eric Ames, “The Sound of Evolution,” Modernism/Modernity 10 (2003): 297-325.
- Lazare Benaroyo, “Rudolf Virchow and the Scientific Approach to Medicine,” Endeavour 22, no. 3 (1998): 114-116.
- Der Himmel über Berlin, aka Wings of Desire, dir. Wim Wenders (1987)
- Arthur E. Imhof, “The Hospital in the 18th Century: For Whom?” Journal of Social History 10 (1977): 448-470.
- Music! The Berlin Phonogramm-Archiv, 1900-2000 (Wergo, 2000).
- Konrad Obermann, “Materialised Medical History,” The Lancet 359 (2002): 361-362.
- Alexandra Richie, Faust’s Metropolis: A History of Berlin (New York: Carroll & Graf, 1998).
- Londa Schiebinger, “Maria Winkelmann at the Berlin Academy: A Turning Point for Women in Science,” Isis 78 (1987): 174-200.
All music on this program courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network except where noted.
- Sunburn in Cyprus, History (intro & outro)
- Telemann Trio Berlin, Concerto in D-Dur – Allegro (Vivaldi), Triosonate in D-Dur – Largo (Bach) (courtesy of Magnatune; during historical intro and first essay)
- Happy Gemini 3, Pondering the 10th Planet (transitions)
- RZ-1, Cuckoo-Berliner Remix (courtesy of CC Mixter; following first essay)
- Music! The Berlin Phonogramm-Archiv, 1900-2000 (Wergo, 2000; during second essay)
- “Kham hom,” performed by a theater ensemble from Bangkok in Berlin, 1900
- Eagle song of the Hopi Indians of Arizona, performed in Berlin, 1906
- Xylophone piece of the Bondei, played on the “vilangwi” xylophone, Tanga, Tanganyika, 1903
- Sorbian spinning room song, sung by Christine Marrak, Burg, Germany, 1907
- “Tangiboa,” a death lament sung by Dawidi Anam, German New Guinea, 1928
- Electrix, Berlin am Meer (following second essay)
- Sound effects courtesy of the FreeSound Project:
- Berliner Medizinhistoriches Museum (Berlin Medical History Museum)
- Mütter Museum, Philadelphia (pathology collection in the U.S.)
- Bill Squires’ Biology 131 course web site at Texas Lutheran, which includes video projects by his students with their views on the colonization of Mars.