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The Theater of Experiment: Staging Natural Philosophy in Eighteenth-Century Britain

Condition: BRAND NEW
ISBN: 9780190269715
Author(s): Al Coppola
Format: Hardcover
Year: 2016
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Dimensions: 235 x 0 x 156 (w x l x h)
Pages: 280

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Description:
The first book-length study of the relationship between science and theater during the long eighteenth century in Britain, The Theater of Experiment explores the crucial role of spectacle in the establishment of modern science by analyzing how eighteenth-century science was 'staged' in a double sense. On the one hand, this study analyzes science in performance: the way that science and scientists were made a public spectacle in comedies, farces, and pantomimes for purposes that could range from the satiric to the pedagogic to the hagiographic. But this book also considers the way in which these plays laid bare science as performance: that is, the way that eighteenth-century science was itself a kind of performing art, subject to regimes of stagecraft that traversed the laboratory, the lecture hall, the anatomy theater, and the public stage.
Not only did the representation of natural philosophy in eighteenth-century plays like Thomas Shadwell's Virtuoso, Aphra Behn's The Emperor of the Moon, Susanna Centlivre's The Basset Table, and John Rich's Necromancer, or Harelequin Doctor Faustus, influence contemporary debates over the role that experimental science was to play public life, the theater shaped the very form that science itself was to take. By disciplining, and ultimately helping to legitimate, experimental philosophy, the eighteenth-century stage helped to naturalize an ep Please click here to ask a question
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