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The Poetics of Natural History
Author: Christoph Irmscher
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 0813526159
Pages: 354
Year: 1999
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The Poetics of Natural History is about the "daydreams" of early American naturalists (from 1730 to 1868) and the collections they created around these dreams. Christoph Irmscher explores how, through the acts of organizing physical artifacts and reflecting upon their collections through writings and images, naturalists from John Bartram to Louis Agassiz were making sense of themselves and their world. These collections allowed them, in a way, to collect themselves. In the first part of his book, Irmscher offers us a guided tour of the actual collections, beginning in Bartram's disorderly botanical garden in Philadelphia and taking us through the artful display of animals in Charles Wilson Peale's collections and, finally, to the "halls of humbug" of P. T. Barnum's American Museum. The second part of the book moves away from the collections, and explores natural history words and images. Irmscher unforgettably describes American collectors' fascination and horror with the American rattlesnake, and invokes the violent and beautiful world of American birds as described in John James Audubon's paintings and writings. His book ends with a description of Louis Agassiz's 1865 expedition to Brazil as seen through the eyes of the young William James, who reluctantly gathered Brazilian fish while his mentor assembled "proof" that some human beings were less human than others.
Poetics of Natural History
Author: Christoph Irmscher
Publisher: Rutgers University Press Classics
ISBN: 197880587X
Pages: 250
Year: 2019-08-16
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Newly expanded and in full color, this groundbreaking book argues that early American natural historians had a distinctly poetic sensibility, producing work that had a visionary intensity. Covering naturalists from John James Audubon to PT Barnum, it considers not only natural history writing, but also illustrations, photographs, and actual collections of flora and fauna.
Natural History in Early Modern France
Author: Raphaële Garrod, Paul J. Smith
Publisher: Intersections
ISBN: 9004375694
Pages: 294
Year: 2018-08-23
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Garrod, Smith and the contributors of the volume envisage the longue durée poetics of an early modern genre. They interpret its poetics alongside its various epistemic agenda and make a case for the literary status of natural history.
The History and Poetics of Scientific Biography
Author: Thomas Söderqvist
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317028899
Pages: 286
Year: 2016-03-03
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Biographies of scientists carry an increasingly prominent role in today's publishing climate. Traditional historical and sociological accounts of science are complemented by narratives that emphasize the importance of the scientific subject in the production of science. Not least is the realization that the role of science in culture is much more accessible when presented through the lives of its practitioners. Taken as a genre, such biographies play an important role in the public understanding of science. In recent years there has been an increasing number of monographs and collections about biography in general and literary biography in particular. However, biographies of scientists, engineers and medical doctors have rarely been the topic of scholarly inquiry. As such this volume of essays will be welcomed by those interested in the genre of science biography, and who wish to re-examine its history, foundational problems and theoretical implications. Borrowing approaches and methods from cultural studies and the history, philosophy and sociology of science, the contributions cover a broad range of subjects, periods and locations. By presenting such a rich diversity of essays, the volume is able to chart the reoccurring conceptual problems and devices that have influenced scientific biographies from classical antiquity to the present day. In so doing it provides a compelling overview of the history of the genre, suggesting that the different valuations given scientific biography over time have been largely fuelled by vested professional interests.
Field Guide to California Agriculture
Author: Paul Starrs, Peter Goin
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520265432
Pages: 475
Year: 2010-07-06
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"This book brings to life one of the most creative (and necessary) human endeavors and makes understandable the incredible complexity of California agriculture, one of the world's most daring experiments in feeding itself. A valuable resource that should be read by everyone—not just those of us who farm, but all of us who depend on farms."—Michael Ableman, farmer, photographer, and author of From the Good Earth, On Good Land, and Fields of Plenty. "No understanding of this state is possible without an understanding of its agriculture; that's how important this subject is."—Gerald Haslam, author of Workin' Man Blues: Country Music in California "A fascinating, intriguing, and sometimes even humorous exploration of California's agriculture, from broccoli to marijuana and beyond. At long last, a book everyday people can read to understand the state's biggest industry."—Louis Warren, University of California, Davis
A History of Poetics
Author: Sandra Richter
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter
ISBN: 3110222450
Pages: 469
Year: 2010-02-23
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Since the 1990s, following the end of postmodernism, literary theory has lost much of its dynamics. This book aims at revitalising literary theory exploring two of its historical bases: German poetics and aesthetics. Beginning in the 1770s and ending in the 1950s, the book examines nearly 200 years of this history, thereby providing the reader with a first history of poetics as well as with bibliographies of the subject. Particular attention is paid to the aesthetics and poetics of popular philosophy, of the Hegel-school, empirical and psychological tendencies in the field since the 1860s, the first steps towards a plurality of methods (1890–1930), theoretical confrontations during the Nazi-period as well as the rise of formalist and anthropological approaches from the 1930s onwards. All approaches are evaluated regarding their relevance for academia as well as for the general history of education. If possible, international references and contexts of the relevant theories are taken into account. In sum, the analysis not only shows how differentiated historical accounts in the field were but also reflects how current literary theory could move forward through the rediscovery of sunken ideas.
Natures in Translation
Author: Alan Bewell
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421420961
Pages: 416
Year: 2016-12-01
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For many critics, Romanticism is synonymous with nature writing, for representations of the natural world appear during this period with a freshness, concreteness, depth, and intensity that have rarely been equaled. Why did nature matter so much to writers of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries? And how did it play such an important role in their understanding of themselves and the world? In Natures in Translation, Alan Bewell argues that there is no Nature in the singular, only natures that have undergone transformation through time and across space. He examines how writers—as disparate as Erasmus and Charles Darwin, Joseph Banks, Gilbert White, William Bartram, William Wordsworth, John Clare, and Mary Shelley—understood a world in which natures were traveling and resettling the globe like never before. Bewell presents British natural history as a translational activity aimed at globalizing local natures by making them mobile, exchangeable, comparable, and representable. Bewell explores how colonial writers, in the period leading up to the formulation of evolutionary theory, responded to a world in which new natures were coming into being while others disappeared. For some of these writers, colonial natural history held the promise of ushering in a "cosmopolitan" nature in which every species, through trade and exchange, might become a true "citizen of the world." Others struggled with the question of how to live after the natures they depended upon were gone. Ultimately, Natures in Translation demonstrates that—far from being separate from the dominant concerns of British imperial culture—nature was integrally bound up with the business of empire.
Introduction to the Study of Natural History
Author: Louis Agassiz
Publisher: Birkhäuser
ISBN: 3319660810
Pages: 126
Year: 2017-10-26
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This book features Louis Agassiz’s seminal lecture course in which the Swiss-American scientist, a self-styled “American Humboldt,” summarized the state of zoological knowledge in his time. Though Darwin’s theory of evolution would soon dismantle his idealist science, Agassiz’s lectures are nonetheless modern in their insistence on the social and cultural importance of the scientific enterprise. An extensive, well-illustrated introduction by Agassiz’s biographer, Christoph Irmscher, situates Agassiz’s lectures in the context of his life and nineteenth-century science, while also confronting the deeply problematic aspects of his legacy. Profusely annotated, this edition offers fascinating insights into the history of science and appeals to anyone with an interest in zoology and natural history. “Christoph Irmscher provides a scholarly and insightful analysis of the intentions and beliefs of Louis Agassiz, a larger-than-life scientist of the mid-19th century and fierce opponent of Charles Darwin. One of the foremost naturalists of his time, Agassiz’s encyclopedic knowledge and brash confidence sustained bold and often controversial theories, which contributed to extreme intellectual ferment at the dawn of contemporary evolutionary biology.” James Hanken, Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology, Harvard University, USA
The Way of Natural History
Author: Thomas Lowe Fleischner
Publisher: Trinity University Press
ISBN: 1595341080
Pages: 204
Year: 2011-04-15
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In this eclectic anthology, more than 20 scientists, nature writers, poets, and Zen practitioners, attest to how paying attention to nature can be a healing antidote to the hectic and harrying pace of our lives. Throughout this provocative and uplifting book, writers describe their various experiences in nature and portray how careful, and mindful, attention to the larger world around us brings rewarding and surprising discoveries. They give us the literary, personal, and spiritual stories that point a way toward calm and quiet for which many people today hunger. Contributors to The Way of Natural History highlight their individual ways of paying attention to nature and discuss how their experiences have enlivened and enhanced their worlds. The anthology is a rich array of writings that provide models for interacting with the natural world, and together, create a call for the importance of natural history as a discipline.
Fatal Revolutions
Author: Christopher P. Iannini
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 0807838187
Pages: 320
Year: 2013-03-12
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Drawing on letters, illustrations, engravings, and neglected manuscripts, Christopher Iannini connects two dramatic transformations in the eighteenth-century Atlantic world--the emergence and growth of the Caribbean plantation system and the rise of natural science. Iannini argues that these transformations were not only deeply interconnected, but that together they established conditions fundamental to the development of a distinctive literary culture in the early Americas. In fact, eighteenth-century natural history as a literary genre largely took its shape from its practice in the Caribbean, an oft-studied region that was a prime source of wealth for all of Europe and the Americas. The formal evolution of colonial prose narrative, Ianinni argues, was contingent upon the emergence of natural history writing, which itself emerged necessarily from within the context of Atlantic slavery and the production of tropical commodities. As he reestablishes the history of cultural exchange between the Caribbean and North America, Ianinni recovers the importance of the West Indies in the formation of American literary and intellectual culture as well as its place in assessing the moral implications of colonial slavery.
The Poetics of Spice
Author: Timothy Morton
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521026660
Pages: 300
Year: 2006-06-01
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This 2000 book explores the literary and cultural significance of spice, and the spice trade, in Romantic literature.
Wordsworth and the Poetics of Air
Author: Thomas H. Ford
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1108424953
Pages: 286
Year: 2018-06-30
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Presents an ecocritical study of poetic atmosphere, a concept first developed through Romanticism, particularly in the poetry of William Wordsworth.
New World Poetics
Author: George B. Handley
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
ISBN: 0820335207
Pages: 441
Year: 2010
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A simultaneously ecocritical and comparative study, New World Poetics plumbs the earthly depth and social breadth of the poetry of Walt Whitman, Pablo Neruda, and Derek Walcott, three of the Americas' most ambitious and epic-minded poets. In Whitman's call for a poetry of New World possibility, Neruda's invocation of an "American love," and Walcott's investment in the poetic ironies of an American epic, the adamic imagination of their poetry does not reinvent the mythical Garden that stands before history's beginnings but instead taps the foundational powers of language before a natural world deeply imbued with the traces of human time. Theirs is a postlapsarian Adam seeking a renewed sense of place in a biocentric and cross-cultural New World through language and nature's capacity for regeneration in the wake of human violence and suffering. The book introduces the environmental history of the Americas and its relationship to the foundation of American and Latin American studies, explores its relevance to each poet's ambition to recuperate the New World's lost histories, and provides a transnational poetics of understanding literary influence and textual simultaneity in the Americas. The study provides much needed in-depth ecocritical readings of the major poems of the three poets, insisting on the need for thoughtful regard for the challenge to human imagination and culture posed by nature's regenerative powers; nuanced appreciation for the difficulty of balancing the demands of social justice within the context of deep time; and the symptomatic dangers as well as healing potential of human self-consciousness in light of global environmental degradation.
A Natural History of the Senses
Author: Diane Ackerman
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307763315
Pages: 352
Year: 2011-12-07
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Diane Ackerman's lusciously written grand tour of the realm of the senses includes conversations with an iceberg in Antarctica and a professional nose in New York, along with dissertations on kisses and tattoos, sadistic cuisine and the music played by the planet Earth. “Delightful . . . gives the reader the richest possible feeling of the worlds the senses take in.” —The New York Times
Philip Sidney and the Poetics of Renaissance Cosmopolitanism
Author: Robert E. Stillman
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN: 0754663698
Pages: 266
Year: 2008
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Offering a fresh interpretation of Philip Sidney's Defence of Poesy, Robert E. Stillman's intellectually ambitious study challenges traditional scholarship by identifying the impact of his education by the followers of Philip Melanchthon-the so-called Philippists-on his poetics, piety, and politics. Sidney created the first Renaissance text to argue for poetry's pre-eminence as an autonomous form of knowledge in the public domain, and its consequent power to promote cultural reform.