Thesis ID: CBB067590891

Women’s Writing and The Poetics of Scientific Knowledge, 1620-1740 (2019)


Mann, Rachel (Author)
Gavin, Michael (Advisor)

University of South Carolina
Gavin, Michael
Publication date: 2019
Language: English

Publication Date: 2019
Physical Details: 202 pp.

Women’s Writing and the Poetics of Scientific Knowledge, 1620-1740 probes the porous boundary between science and literature, revealing that the methodologies undergirding scientific experimentation were developed communally and through a confluence of interdisciplinary and cultural concerns. Ultimately, it shows that our contemporary understanding of the natural world and the scientific method have a history that is largely one of fragments. Secondly, and more importantly, it demonstrates the value of reading imaginative writing alongside scientific developments of the day. Focusing on women’s imaginative writing in particular reveals the power and limits that ostensibly liminal voices have. As such, Women’s Writing and the Poetics of Scientific Knowledge, 1620-1740 continues, in part, the vital project of recovery. Concomitantly, it also suggests that it was women’s very marginality that enabled them to create a nexus between types of discourse and the larger scientific and literary milieu. Although barred, institutionally, from practicing experimental science, women remained active participants in contributing to the shape knowledge took. Chapters centered on political, microscopic, epistolary, and anatomical life show how women writers of the period—Margaret Cavendish, Aphra Behn, and Jane Barker, among others—experimented with hybrid narrative forms to account for and illustrate different ways of knowing; critiqued empirical practices and the illusion of objectivity; and used imaginative writing to offer an alternative model for understanding the natural world and one’s place within it.

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Authors & Contributors
Clody, Michael C.
Di Meo, Antonio
Duncan, Ian
Haskell, Yasmin Annabel
Haugen, Kristine Louise
Lynall, Gregory
French History
Nuncius: Annali di Storia della Scienza
Substantia: An International Journal of the History of Chemistry
Accademia dell’Arcadia
Indiana University
Ashgate Publishing
D.S. Brewer
Harvard University Press
Modern Language Association of America
Science and literature
Poetry and poetics
Human-animal relationships
Societies; institutions; academies
Science and art
Galilei, Galileo
Magalotti, Lorenzo
Bentley, Richard
Castelli, Benedetto
Cavendish, Margaret, Duchess of Newcastle
Cowley, Abraham
Time Periods
17th century
18th century
19th century
20th century
21st century
Great Britain
London (England)
Jesuits (Society of Jesus)
Royal Society of London

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