Electricity and Imagination: Post-romantic Electrified Experience and the Gendered Body.

Abstract : In this introduction, I evoke the poetic force and spectacular experiences of electricity in the 19th century. Electricity is taken here as a specific subject for “science and imagination studies”, an inter- and multidisciplinary perspective that takes into account the history of science, medicine and technology as well as literature, theatre studies and dance studies, among other disciplines. The envisioned approach is inclusive, and the sciences are not considered to have a privileged perspective on electricity. Indeed, I question common diffusionist models and I plead formoremethodological exchange between disciplinary approaches to electricity. In the special issue, electricity is analyzed both as a concept traversing a diversity of contexts and as a phenomenon thatwas carefully staged. Besides introducing the four contributions that follow on the introduction, I briefly explore relevant related themes, including the reception history of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and the electrified dances of Loie Fuller, the electrical fairy. I show that the experience of electricity and the gendered body are common themes of the special issue and that their study is indeed crucial for understanding 19th century electrical imaginaries. Keywords.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01422143
Contributor : Koen Vermeir <>
Submitted on : Friday, December 23, 2016 - 8:23:46 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 12:22:02 PM

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Koen Vermeir. Electricity and Imagination: Post-romantic Electrified Experience and the Gendered Body.. Centaurus, 2016, 57 (3), pp.131--155. ⟨10.1111/1600-0498.12097⟩. ⟨halshs-01422143⟩

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