Unmapped Countries: Biological Visions in Nineteenth Century Literature and Culture

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Anne-Julia Zwierlein
Anthem Press, 2005 - Literary Criticism - 282 pages
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Biotechnology and human genetics are the dominant applied sciences in the twenty-first century. "Unmapped Countries" provides a critical retrospective on the nineteenth-century origins of modern biological science and their close connections with the cultural sphere. It explores the emerging cultural authority of the biological sciences during the nineteenth century, when fundamental discoveries in geology and physics dramatically destabilized the Victorian worldview.
In the field of literary and cultural studies, interest in nineteenth-century biology has been substantial for the last 20 years, yet the focus has been almost exclusively on evolutionary theory, neglecting other branches of nineteenth-century biology. This collection corrects that imbalance, shedding light on other discoveries in cell biology, physiology, neurology and virology. It examines the issue of authority in science, demonstrating the social 'embeddedness' of the natural sciences, and gender issues. It also shows how scientists and creative writers drew on a common imagination as well as narrative techniques and stylistic devices; indeed, often inspired by the same subjects.
This important new book, including contributions from some of the most distinguished experts in the field, demonstrates that the relation between literature, culture and biology in the nineteenth century is far more complex than habitual references to Darwin would have us believe.
 

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Contents

lnterrelations between Biology
8
Narrative Ambiguity
15
KLAUS STIERSTORFER
27
Aestheticism Immorality and the Reception of Darwinism
43
Constructing Darwinism in Literary Culture
55
the Feminists at the End of the Nineteenth Century
71
CAROL PEAKER
83
the Unconscious in Findesiécle Literature
95
Naturfreund or Naturfeind? Darwinism in the Early Drawings
117
Cells and Networks in Nineteenth Century Literature
135
Parasites in Nineteenth
155
The Island of Dr Moreau Flatland
173
Medical and Literary Representations
193
Sensuous Knowledge
207
Bibliography
251
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About the author (2005)

Anne-Julia Zwierlein is Assistant Professor at the Centre for British Studies, University of Bamberg. She has published a monograph, 'Majestick Milton: British Imperial Expansion and Transformations of Paradise Lost, 1667-1837' (Münster, 2001) and co-edited 'Plotting Early Modern London: New Essays on Jacobean City Comedy' (Aldershot, 2004).

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