Thesis ID: CBB523897426

Speculating Science: Nature, Narrative, and the Cryptozoological Imagination (2019)


Jylkka, Katja (Author)
Frederickson, Kathleen (Advisor)

University of California, Davis
Frederickson, Kathleen
Publication date: 2019
Language: English

Publication Date: 2019
Physical Details: 159 pp.

Speculating Science: Nature, Narrative, and the Cryptozoological Imagination investigates cultural reactions to moments of changing science, making the argument that these moments create a space for imaginative and speculative positing of possibilities. To examine this phenomenon, this project examines three different fields of science in three different historical moments. Each of these moments, I argue, leads to the creation of a figure now considered part of the realm of cryptozoology, the search for animals unknown to science, such as the Loch Ness monster. Speculations about new scientific discoveries manifest in a variety of cultural forms, from discussions of cryptozoological figures to contemporaneous works of fiction. What little critical attention has been paid to cryptozoology has mostly focused on the characteristics demarcating it from so-called “mainstream science.” Many valuable studies, for instance, often in the history or philosophy of science, have explored the qualities that constitute a pseudoscience. However, what remains missing are studies that treat cryptozoology as a cultural phenomenon, one with ties to other cultural and scientific narratives. If we see the creatures posited by cryptozoology as narrative figures, ones that partake of scientific discourse but also emotional and social narratives, what might we learn about the cultures in which they were born? In studying reactions to scientific discoveries, we can understand more about the process of scientific progress. As the Loch Ness monster, Bigfoot, and the chupacabras demonstrate, the process of scientific growth is messy, with possibilities and theories often vastly outpacing the speed of confirmed knowledge. Following the work of scholars in literary studies and science studies, my project unites these two fields to show the ways that speculation plays an essential role in the progress of science.

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Authors & Contributors
Andrietti, Francesco
Arana, Andrew
Bechler, Reinaldo Guilherme
Cain, Joe
Collins, Harry M.
Dear, Peter Robert
Endeavour: Review of the Progress of Science
Acta Baltica historiae et philosophiae scientiarum
Configurations: A Journal of Literature, Science, and Technology
História, Ciências, Saúde---Manguinhos
Journal of the History of Biology
Metascience: An International Review Journal for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science
Franco Angeli
CNRS Éditions
Rowman & Littlefield
University of Chicago Press
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Edition Open Access
Philosophy of science
Revolutions in science
History of science, as a discipline
Science and culture
Kuhn, Thomas S.
Darwin, Charles Robert
Newton, Isaac
Bourdieu, Pierre
Durkheim, Émile
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, late
17th century
20th century
20th century, early
16th century
Latin America

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