Louis Agassiz: Creator of American Science

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Louis Agassiz: Creator of American ScienceSpeaker: Christoph Irmscher

Indiana University-Bloomington Professor of English Christoph Irmscher, author of two books on Longfellow (Longfellow Redux and Public Poet, Private Man), returns to MHS to deliver a talk on his most recent book, Louis Agassiz: Creator of American Science. A Longfellow contemporary, Agassiz bridged the gap between specialist and amateur in 19th century America, changing ordinary people’s relationship with science forever. But he also had a dark side—racist impulses that led Americans to look to men of science to mediate race policy.

The Christian Science Monitor calls the biography “a groundbreaking book” and the New York Times Book Review praised Irmscher as a “richly descriptive writer with an eye for detail [and the] complexities and contradictions of character.”

Christoph Irmscher, a native of Germany, has taught at the University of Tennesse-Knoxville, Harvard University, and the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, in addition to Indiana University. In addition to his duties as Professor of English at IU, he currently serves as Director of the Wells Scholars, an elite scholarship program for high schoolers. Among his many interests, he is widely recognized as an expert on John James Audubon and was a consultant on an “American Masters” documentary on the naturalist. Irmscher has been the recipient of numerous grants and teaching awards. Learn more at www.christophirmscher.com.