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From Frankenstein to Middlemarch, The Time Machine to Neuromancer, novelists and poets have revealed an enduring interest in the way in which science can re-imagine the self, raising challenging questions about the nature of consciousness, modes of seeing, and the limits/continuities of the human. Scholars in the Literature and Science research group at Roehampton share an excitement about charting these perenially shifting values, staking out the fragile boundaries between nature and culture, and considering science, like literature, as a form of story-telling.

This group accommodates three specific sets of interests:

  • Sound and spectacle - from vibration and orality to performance and comedy
  • Medical humanities - from the development of psychology and physiology in the 18th to the 21st centuries; 20th and 21st century theories of addiction, trauma and memory
  • Scientific networks - from the early modern to the Victorian/imperial

Our members work on themes that we teach in our research-led undergraduate courses, and in PhD supervision: Victorian theories of race; vibration, soundscapes and orality; 18th and 19th century networks of science; the development of psychology and physiology from the 18th to the 21st century; scientific investigations of laughter; literary and evolutionary thinking in the work of Erasmus Darwin and Charles Darwin; 20th and 21st century theories of addiction; and the fears and hopes produced by archiving memory and the personal in the digital age.

Group members organise events such as the ‘The Darwins Reconsidered’ conference, which has fed into a special issue forthcoming in Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net.

The research group supports the British Society for Literature and Science. For more information about the society click here

Phrenological Head by L N Fowler.jpg