Science And Technology In The Age Of Hawthorne, Melville, Twain, And James

Overview

This innovative book reveals the full extent of electricity's significance in nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century culture. Ranging across a vast array of materials, Sam Halliday shows how electricity functioned as both a means of representing "other" things—from love and solidarity to embodiment and temporality—and as an object of representation in its own right. As well as Hawthorne, Melville, Twain and James, the book considers other major American writers such as Whitman, Margaret Fuller and Henry Adams; ...

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Science And Technology In The Age Of Hawthorne, Melville, Twain, And James

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Overview

This innovative book reveals the full extent of electricity's significance in nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century culture. Ranging across a vast array of materials, Sam Halliday shows how electricity functioned as both a means of representing "other" things—from love and solidarity to embodiment and temporality—and as an object of representation in its own right. As well as Hawthorne, Melville, Twain and James, the book considers other major American writers such as Whitman, Margaret Fuller and Henry Adams; English writers such as Hardy and Kipling; and a galaxy of scientists and social commentators, including mesmerists, physicians, conspiracy theorists, psychologists and theologians.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Halliday's bravura study is a trove of insight and information. It features a remarkable cast of characters, from Samuel Morse and Helen Keller to Hawthorne, Twain, and Daniel Paul Schreber, and it bristles with unexpected connections across technology and culture: mesmerism and slavery, ether and representation, telegraphy and conspiracy. Every page brings illumination; the book can aptly be called 'electrifying.'"—Michael T. Gilmore, Brandeis University

"The most significant aspect of this engaging book is the 'telepathic' connections it makes between seemingly disparate subjects—Dracula and the railway timetable; race and telegraphy; split personality and the telephone exchange. A model of how to do cultural studies, Science and Technology will change the way people think not only about technology and culture at the turban of the twentieth century but also more generally about communication, individuality, and the meaning of the social."—Barbara Will, Dartmouth College.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Sam Halliday lectures in the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary, University of London. His work has appeared in Forum for Modern Language Studies and A Companion to Mark Twain (ed. Peter Messent and Louis J. Budd, 2005).

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Table of Contents

Time and Space
• Individual Difference and Self-Representation
• Sympathy and Reciprocity
• Connection and Division
• Inclusion and Exclusion

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