Science Studies and Early Modern Literature and Culture
The Introduction offers an overview of the history of science as it impacts on the study of early modern literature and culture. This history has two general phases. The first begins in the 1930s and lasts into the 1980s and is dedicated to demonstrating the influence of science on literary texts. The second phase emerges in the 1980s and 1990s and develops in response to a certain revolution in science studies, a term meant to designate the multidisciplinary study of science as both a socially and a historically embedded set of practices and habits of thought. This revolution is also therefore part of the story this chapter tells about early modernity, science, and literary culture. The most significant consequence of the new science and literature criticism is its understanding of the ways in which both the scientific and the literary are equally (though differently) engaged in the knowledge production.
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