Alice Christensen is currently completing her dissertation, "Temperature Sense: A History of Inscriptions Around 1900" (committee: Michael Jennings, Daniel Heller-Roazen, Katja Guenther). The dissertation traces a cultural and intellectual history of the judgments by which we call things kalt, kühl, lau, warm, heiß. The dissertation asks why this particular qualitative judgment became so important in German and European discourse in the years between 1870 and 1930. Despite the fact that one finds "temperature and then--temperature again" (Mann, Der Zauberberg) in literature, science, and philosophy in this period, "Temperature Sense" is the first book-length study of the topic. An article based on material from the second chapter appeared in 2014 ("Making Sense of Temperature in Early Psychophysics," IJOC).
Alice's work has been supported by the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities at Princeton (IHUM), Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), and the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS). She spent January-October 2014 as a Visiting Associate Fellow at the Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie (IKKM) at the Bauhaus Universität-Weimar. Alice previously studied German literature and the natural sciences at Johns Hopkins University and the Freie Universität-Berlin, and she holds a master’s degree in epidemiology from Yale. Her research interests broadly include German literature and philosophy from the eighteenth century to the present, the history of the human and natural sciences, media theory, and cinema/film. From December 2017, she is also an affiliate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) network "Media Philosophy."