English 90TB. Literature and the Rise of Public Science

Instructor: Stephen Osadetz
Terms: Spring Term

Tuesdays, 12-2:45 pm | Location: TBA

Enrollment: Limited to 15 students.

This seminar explores the relationship between literary and scientific experiment during the Restoration and the eighteenth century. Our readings, by authors such as Milton, Fontenelle, Pope, Hume, Diderot, and Mary Shelley, will be paired with hands-on activities: while reading Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, for example, students will have the opportunity to use microscopes and telescopes from the period. Throughout, we will seek to understand how writers of various sorts – scientists, philosophers, poets, novelists, and essayists – were inspired by new accounts of nature, from the simplest experimental observations to the grandest visions of the cosmos.

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