Phillip Thurtle is professor in CHID and History. He received his PhD in history and the philosophy of science from Stanford University. He is the author of Biology in the Grid: Graphic Design and the Envisioning of Life (University of Minnesota Press, 2018), The Emergence of Genetic Rationality: Space, Time, and Information in American Biology 1870-1920 (University of Washington Press, 2008), the co-author with Robert Mitchell (English, Duke University) and Helen Burgess (English, University of Maryland) of the interactive DVD-ROM BioFutures: Owning Information an Body Parts (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008), and the co-editor with Robert Mitchell of the volumes Data Made Flesh: Embodying Information (Routledge, 2003) and Semiotic Flesh: Information and the Human Body (University of Washington Press, 2002). His research focuses on the material culture of information processing, the affective-phenomenological domains of media, the role of information processing technologies in biomedical research, and theories of novelty in the life sciences. His most recent work is on the cellular spaces of transformation in evolutionary and developmental biology research and the cultural spaces of transformation in superhero comics.
- Phillip Thurtle, "Losing My Wings: Supernatural Fables of Development", Laboratory of Critical Technics, Arizona State University.
- Careers: From a Path to a Landscape: Philip Thurtle at TEDxUofW
- Phillip Thurtle, "What Superheroes are Made of", TEDxRanier, 2012
- Phillip Thurtle, "Manufacturing Horticultural Novelties: Variance and Standardization in the Production and Marketing of Luther Burbank's Creations", June, 2011, Yale University
- Phillip Thurle, "Supernaturalisms: The Magical Naturalism of Contemporary Media", June 6, 2009 --- Critical Digital Studies Workshops, Pacific Centre for Technology and Culture, University of Victoria
- Claudia X. Valdes and Phillip Thurtle, "Mutations and Metamorphoses", at the Mutamorphosis Conference, Prague, Czech Republic
- Mitchell, Robert, Helen Burgess, and Phillip Thurtle. Biofutures: Owning Body Parts and Information. Philadelphia, Pa: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008. DVD.
- Phillip Thurtle, “The Poetics of Life: Luther Burbank, Horticultural Novelties, and the Space of Heredity” Literature and Medicine, Vol. 26, no. 1, Spring 2007: 1-24.
- “’The Acme Novelty Library’: Comicbooks, Repetition, and the Return of the New,” Co-authored with Robert Mitchell, Configurations, Vol. 15, 2007, 267-297 (actually published in March 2009).
- Thurtle, Phillip. The Emergence of Genetic Rationality: Space, Time, & Information in American Biological Science, 1870-1920. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2007.
- Claudia X. Valdes + Phillip Thurtle, "Biofeedback and the arts: listening as experimental practice" This paper was presented at the REFRESH conference, First International Conference onthe Media Arts, Sciences and Technologies held at the Banff Center sept 29-oct 4 2005and co sponsored by the Banff New Media Institute, the Database of Virtual Art andLeonardo/ISAST. Download PDF (4.8 MB)
- Mitchell, Robert, and Phillip Thurtle. Data Made Flesh: Embodying Information. New York: Routledge, 2004.
- Thurtle, Phillip, and Robert Mitchell. Semiotic Flesh: Information & the Human Body. Seattle: Walter Chapin Simpson Center for the Humanities, 2002.
- Phillip Thurtle, Biology in the Grid: Graphic Design and Envisioning of Life, (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2018)
- Thurtle, Phillip, and Adam Nocek, Eds. Animating Biophilosophy, Special issue of Inflexions, June 2013.
Research Advised: Undergraduate Senior Theses
- Bucklew, Chase. Embodiment in a Posthuman Culture. 2012.
- Flores, Whidden. There Are Worse Things Than Death Tracing the language of fear through international horror films. 2011.
- Hall, Alicia. Ugly Beautiful Different the visual representations of good and evil and their reflections upon the collective unconscious. 2010.
- Mitchell, Rev. Shane. Trippin' Through Time: Effects of Psychedelics on Human Development. 2009.
- Done, Daniel. Gavroche Magazine. 2008.
- Sokolowsky, Brett. "One Sky" Environmental Awareness Music and Art Event. 2008.
- Francoeur, Daniel. The Creative Process and Hypothetical Other. 2008.
- Evans, Ryan. The Fear and Wonder of Flight: Aviation's Shift From a Wonder to an Instrument of Total War. 2007.
- Hill, Caitlin. A Call for Morality in Outer Space Exploration. 2006.
- Bestrom, Erin. Moving Beyond Borders: The Creation of Nomadic Space through Travel. 2006.
Summer 2017 Full-term
- CHID 480 B: Special Topics: Advanced Study Of The History Of Ideas Love: A Natural History (Course Website)
Study Abroad Programs
Vivo Art: Investigating Art, Science, and Society
(Early Fall Start 2022)
Friday Harbor, WA, USA
Regeneration: Matter, Myth, and Memory in Iceland
When Islands Sing: The Human and Non-Human Resonances of the Faroe Islands
Seattle and Torshavn, Faroe Islands
Iceland: Regeneration - Matter, Myth, and Memory
- CHID Students as Critical Makers - November 14, 2019
- Research as world-building & the community formed along the way - November 13, 2019
- A Message from CHID's Director, Phillip Thurtle - June 5, 2019
- CHID Community News and Achievements - Autumn 2018 - November 2, 2018
- Letter from the Director: "Forty More" - November 2, 2018
- Letter from the Director - May 7, 2018
- CHID Community News and Achievements - Spring 2018 - May 3, 2018
- Letter from the Director - April 29, 2016
- Letter from the Director - November 22, 2015
- New Tools for New Stories: Summer Digital Humanities Fellowship - November 21, 2015
- Embracing the Big Questions with Phillip Thurtle - August 19, 2015
- A Wake-Up Call: Studying Abroad in Iceland - October 7, 2014
- Seattle Times Reports on CHID's Innovative Work on Game Studies - September 2, 2014
- Thurtle and Nocek Co-Edit New Volume - April 30, 2014
- CHID Studies Abroad in Summer 2013 and Beyond - November 22, 2013
- Students find out how the islands sing in the Faroe Islands - September 30, 2013
- Blogging the Faroe Islands with CHID - July 16, 2013
- Professor Phillip Thurtle Awarded 2013 UW Distinguished Teaching Award - April 10, 2013
- CHID International Expo and Panel Discussion: THURSDAY - February 27, 2013
- UW Article Profiling CHID Director Phillip Thurtle - October 30, 2012
- Phillip Thurtle to Give TED Talk - October 12, 2012
- CHID 2012 Summer Iceland Program in the News! - November 1, 2011
- Phillip Thurtle's review of Lynn Nyhart's Modern Nature now available - January 3, 2011