Literature and Science: Cultural Forms, Conceptual Exchanges

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The goal of this special issue of American Literature is to encourage scholars in both the sciences and the humanities to estrange themselves from their regular ways of thinking. Committed to understanding what each discipline has to teach the other, the contributors explore the changes in topics, approaches, and methodologies in the sciences, technology and the humanities that surface when scholars take seriously the mandate to consider the basic assumptions of each field from ...

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Overview

The goal of this special issue of American Literature is to encourage scholars in both the sciences and the humanities to estrange themselves from their regular ways of thinking. Committed to understanding what each discipline has to teach the other, the contributors explore the changes in topics, approaches, and methodologies in the sciences, technology and the humanities that surface when scholars take seriously the mandate to consider the basic assumptions of each field from the other point of view.

The essays address the mutual impact of literature and science through a range of issues: “geek novels” as a subgenre of literature about science, the relationship of narrative form to risk analysis and ecological disaster, the impact of realism and contemporary developments in neurology and brain biology, and the use of technology in the humanities. The essays also examine how the humanities explore scientific issues such as in vitro fertilization and human existence, cloning and molecular biology, and the concept of time.

Contributors. Jay Clayton, Wai Chee Dimock, N. Katherine Hayles, Ursula Heise, Randall Knoper, Martha Nell Smith, Stephanie Turner, Priscilla Wald, Robyn Wiegman

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