Mark W.D. Paterson, PhD

  • Assistant Professor of Sociology

Since 2016, Mark Paterson has helped organize the Medical Humanities Mondays speaker series and an associated Reading Group. His research broaches the history of science and medicine, in particular philosophical approaches to the bodily senses, the history of disability (especially blindness), and technologies that enhance (or substitute) sensory experience for those with sensory impairments. His first monograph was on this topic, The Senses of Touch: Haptics, Affects and Technologies (2007), and he co-edited the collection Touching Space, Placing Touch (2012). More recently he has written on the philosophical history of blindness and touch in Seeing with the Hands: Blindness, Vision & Touch After Descartes (2016). Currently he is working on a book project on the bodily sense of movement, understanding how findings from physiology, neurophysiology, and experimental psychology fed into concepts of bodily movement between 1833-1945, tentatively titled How We Became Sensory-Motor: Mapping Movement in Modernity. He has also taught several courses on the body and senses and currently teaches Medical Sociology (SOC 0477) and is developing a graduate seminar Fragile Bodies exploring ways of approaching illness, disability, and disease in social theory.