We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

Liquid Metaphors and Measurements Seminar

17th February 2010, 14:00 to 16:15, Institute of Advanced Study, Cosin's Hall, Palace Green

Situated within the Durham Institute of Advanced Study's 2009-10 Annual Programme of work on the theme of Water, this interdisciplinary seminar will focus on watery metaphors and measurements across a range of domains. It will bring together an anthropologist, a philosopher of science, and a social scientist who will explore the power and problems of representations present in the making of underwater sound waves, the history of thermodynamics, and the assembly of contemporary financial markets.

Professor Stefan Helmreich (IAS Fellow, MIT) Underwater Music

Professor David M Knight (Durham, Department of Philosophy) ‘Heat Flows': The Watery Metaphor Permeating Sadi Carnot's Derivation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics

Dr Paul Langley (IAS Fellow, Northumbria University) The Performance of Liquidity in the Subprime Crisis

Across a range of domains of practice, the seminar asks how the significance of watery symbols, imagery and discourses might be understood, especially in relation with the reckoning, calculation and figuring of associated substances, flows, movements and circulations.

For further details, please contact the seminar convenor Dr Paul Langley ( The seminar is free to attend and is open to academics and research postgraduate students. To register please contact Ms Judith Aird (

Contact for more information about this event.