The scientifically marked body: Dehumanization and emasculation in British literature, 1620--1767
From Francis Bacon to Laurence Sterne, authors across the long-eighteenth century use images of anomalous male bodies to critique contemporary claims of scientific omnipotence and infallibility. My study explores how Bacon's New Atlantis, Cavendish's Blazing World, Swift's Gulliver's Travels, and Sterne's Tristram Shandy depict what I refer to as "the scientifically marked body," a male body that has been emasculated, dehumanized, or otherwise deformed by the practice of science. In deploying scientifically marked bodies, these authors engage with scientific texts and cultural debates to reveal science's potential for epistemological fallacy, practical inefficacy, and societal disruption, especially regarding technologies of war, medicine, and colonialism. ^
History of Science|Literature, English|Gender Studies
Danielle L Spratt,
"The scientifically marked body: Dehumanization and emasculation in British literature, 1620--1767"
(January 1, 2011).
ETD Collection for Fordham University.