Benjamín Schultz-Figueroa discusses his book "The Celluloid Specimen: Moving Image Research into Animal Life"
Benjamín Schultz-Figueroa, Assistant Professor of Film Studies at Seattle University (USA), will launch his book The Celluloid Specimen: Moving Image Research into Animal Life (University of California Press, 2023) in the Greenhouse environmental humanities book talk series on Monday, 13 February 2023, at the special time of 18:00 in Norway (which will be 9am Pacific time).
In The Celluloid Specimen, Benjamín Schultz‑Figueroa examines rarely seen behaviorist films of animal experiments from the 1930s and 1940s. These laboratory recordings—including Robert Yerkes’s work with North American primate colonies, Yale University’s rat‑based simulations of human society, and B. F. Skinner’s promotions for pigeon‑guided missiles—have long been considered passive records of scientific research. In Schultz‑Figueroa’s incisive analysis, however, they are revealed to be rich historical, political, and aesthetic texts that played a crucial role in American scientific and cultural history—and remain foundational to contemporary conceptions of species, race, identity, and society.