BC3215: Victorian Science and Science Fiction | J. Hildebrand
Tu Th 10:10-11:25AM
Although Victorian fiction is best known today for its realist commitment to representing the world “as it really is,” especially in genres such as the courtship novel and the Bildungsroman, Victorian novelists also wrote during an age of enthusiastic scientific inquiry that questioned and revised the very fabric of the reality that realist genres purported to represent. This course will accordingly explore the more adventurous and speculative fiction of the Victorian period that was most closely attuned to these new ways of representing and thinking about reality. How did new scientific developments such as evolutionary theory in biology, and the atomic theory in physics, reshape how writers viewed the relationships between human and animal, self and other, space and time, body and mind? How did departing from traditional realist modes enable Victorian science fiction writers to explore the ethical, social, and political implications of scientific theories in ways that scientific prose may not have envisioned?
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