ASECS is launching a new program of online discussions of the books and articles that win our four major prizes. We are delighted to announce that the series will begin with a discussion of the winner of the 2020 James L. Clifford Prize for the best article on an eighteenth-century subject: “The Book of Job and the Sex Life of Elephants: The Limits of Evidential Credibility in Eighteenth-Century Natural History and Biblical Criticism” by Avi Lifschitz, associate professor of European History at the University of Oxford. Holly Brewer, associate professor and Burke Chair of American History at the University of Maryland, will host the discussion; Professor Lifschitz will also participate.
“The Book of Job and the Sex Life of Elephants” explores a debate that consumed eighteenth century scientists, religious scholars and philosophes. How did Elephants have sex? The debate complicates traditional understandings of the Enlightenment, of the scientific revolution, and of the continuing relevance of Biblical interpretation. The article first appeared in the Journal of Modern History 91 (December 2019): 739-775. It is available through Open Access on the University of Chicago Press website till the end of the year: https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/journals/jmh/pr/130420.
The ASECS-sponsored discussion will take place via Zoom on Friday, 4 December at 12 noon EST. All members of ASECS, its regional and affiliate societies, as well as members of ISECS affiliated societies, are welcome to attend. Pre-registration is required; the registration form is at https://forms.gle/4eCbKxs2uHwZxLvQ6.
Registration closes at NOON EDT on December 3, 2020.