Pain and Prejudice: Women and Science in the Romantic Era
Over the past decade, scholars have become increasingly interested in interfaces between scientific and literary discourses during the Romantic period. How did ideas about cutting-edge science inflect and shape literary productions? How did novels, poetry and life writing mould scientific discourse? And, in an era when women were officially excluded from public institutions of science such as the Royal Society, how did they access, develop and perpetuate scientific knowledge through literary activity?
On the evening of the 17th of October, three members of the CRECS team will explore intersections between scientific discourse, literary innovation and gender in the writings of two of the period’s most important novelists.
- In ‘Cutting Against the Grain: Frances Burney, Emotion, Pain and the ScienceHumanities’,Martin Willis and Keir Waddington will offer an overview of Frances Burney’s harrowing account of her own mastectomy in 1811.
- In ‘Jane Austen’s Domestic Science’, Rebecca Spear will share her research on how scientific knowledge permeated the sociable networks and fictions of Jane Austen.
- The second part of the evening will build on these presentations with general discussion among participants, who are invited to offer their own thoughts on the role and influence of the science and medicine on Romantic culture.
So, join us for a lively evening of conversation and consideration in Cardiff University’s Special Collections, in the basement of the Arts and Social Studies Library. The event starts at 5.15pm on 26 October 2015. As usual, refreshments will follow after the presentations and discussion.