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Julia Menzel

Julia Menzel is a PhD candidate in MITís program in History; Anthropology; and Science, Technology, and Society (HASTS). She is a critical historian of science and technology, and her work engages broadly with conversations in science and technology studies, critical theory, and intellectual history. Her research examines the relationship between physics and capitalism from the nineteenth century to the present, with a particular focus on the contemporary period. She is writing a dissertation about the "physics of reification" in the late twentieth century, which explores the figures physicists have used to theorize the materialization of the world out of abstractions, including the ghost, the simulation, the ruin, and the hologram.

Julia's other scholarly interests include the history of theoretical physics, broadly construed; physics, computing, and information from Charles Babbage to quantum computers; physics and energy, the fossil fuel economy, and climate change; physics and astronomy in the long history of empire, (settler) colonialism, and enclosure; and physics in broader thought and culture (in, for example, French theory, feminism, and Afrofuturism).

Julia holds a BS in Physics from Yale University and an MPhil in History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Cambridge, where she was funded by a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. Her work has been published in Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences.

Key words

history of science, science and technology studies, intellectual history, critical theory, physics, capitalism




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