Fernando Vidal - Biography#

Born and raised in Buenos Aires, F. Vidal received a BA from Harvard University (which he attended with a full scholarship), graduate degrees in psychology and history and philosophy of science from the Universities of Geneva and Paris, and a Habilitation from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris. His research concerns the history of the human sciences broadly conceived, especially the dynamics of science, culture and values, and how they shape views about human nature and the relations between mind, body and personhood. He has worked on a broad range of topics, including early modern and Enlightenment psychology; early modern imagination, miracles and science; sexuality in the 18th century; the longue-durée history of the body and personal identity; psychoanalysis and psychiatry in the early 20th century; the progressive education movement in the interwar years; and the rise of the ‘cerebral subject’ since the 1990s in contexts ranging from biomedicine, the arts and the humanities to popular culture, particularly film and literature. He has also examined the history of the ‘endangerment sensibility’ that characterizes approaches to biodiversity and cultural heritage. F. Vidal’s recent work, synthesized in the co-edited volume ‘Endangerment, Biodiversity and Culture’ and the co-authored book ‘Being Brains: Making the Cerebral Subject,’ has brought him close to such fields as medical anthropology, biomedical ethics and heritage and environmental studies. F. Vidal has received among others a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Prix Latsis Universitaire, and a Swiss National Science Foundation Athena Fellowship. From 2000 to 2012, when he joined the Center for the History of Science of the Autonomous University of Barcelona as Research Professor of the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies, he was permanent Senior Research Scholar at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin.

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