Carnegie Mellon University

Whitney Laemmli

Whitney Laemmli

Assistant Professor

Bio

Whitney Laemmli is a historian of modern science and technology. Her research explores data recording and storage, the body, and the interactions between technical practice, the arts, and political life in the twentieth-century United States and Europe. She is currently working on a book manuscript titled Measured Movements: The Human Body and the Choreography of Modern Life, which explores how a tool developed to record dance on paper in Weimar Germany found new application in the corporate boardrooms, robotics laboratories, and psychiatric hospitals of the mid-century U.S. and U.K. Other projects have investigated the material history of the ballet pointe shoe, the sexual rehabilitation of paraplegic World War II veterans, and the relationship between technology, religion, and secularism in the twentieth century.

Laemmli has received grants and fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, the ACLS/Mellon Foundation, and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science. She was the recipient of the 2018 Abbot Payson Usher article prize from the Society for the History of Technology as well as the 2016 Forum for the History of the Human Sciences Dissertation Prize from the History of Science Society. Before joining Carnegie Mellon, she spent 2016-2019 as a member of Columbia University’s Society of Fellows in the Humanities.

To read more about Whitney Laemmli, please visit her personal website.

Education

Ph.D.: University of Pennsylvania, 2016

Publications

  • “The Living Record: Alan Lomax and the World Archive of Movement (1965–1985).” History of the Human Sciences 31, 5, special issue on “The Total Archive” (2018): 23-51.
  • “Paper Dancers: Art as Information in Twentieth Century America.” Information and Culture 52, 1 (January 2017): 1-30.
  • “Half a Man: The Symbolism and Science of Paraplegic Impotence in World War II America.” Osiris 30, “Scientific Masculinities,” ed. Robert A. Nye and Erika Lorraine Milam (October 2015): 228-249. With Beth Linker. (Republished in Phallacies: Historical Intersections of Disability and Masculinity, Kathleen M. Brian and James W. Trent, eds. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.)
  • “A Case in Pointe: Romance and Regimentation at the New York City Ballet,” Technology and Culture 56, 1 (January 2015): 1–27.

Courses Taught

  • Technology and Society

Department Member Since: 2019