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Writing Science

ENGL 275.401
instructor(s):
fulfills requirements:
Sector 1: Theory and Poetics of the Standard Major
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major

This course surveys the interdisciplinary field of Science and Literature Studies, with an emphasis on the modern life and physical sciences (19th century to the present). During the first part of the semester, we will examine literary responses to science: the “two cultures” debate; the impact of scientific and technical changes on literary practices; representations of science in fiction. In the second half of the course, we will consider science as literature: scientific rhetoric and standards of authorship; inscription or writing technologies in laboratories; scientists as authors of popular literature; the impact of futurism and speculative fiction on science. Course readings will be drawn from fiction, the life and physical sciences, literary theory, and the history of science. Authors will include: C.P. Snow, Mary Shelley, Laura Otis, Santiago Ramón y Cajal, N. Katherine Hayles, Norbert Wiener, Octavia Butler, Gillian Beer, Charles Darwin, George Eliot, Lisa Gitelman, Lily Kay, James Watson, Richard Powers, Bruno Latour, Colin Milburn,

K. Eric Drexler, Emily Martin, Leo Szilard and Evelyn Fox Keller.