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Tina Gianquitto's America's Darwin: Darwinian Theory and U.S. Culture PDF

By Tina Gianquitto

ISBN-10: 0820344486

ISBN-13: 9780820344485

While a lot has been written in regards to the effect of Darwin’s theories on U.S. tradition, and numerous scholarly collections were dedicated to the technology of evolution, few have addressed the explicit information of Darwin’s theories as a cultural strength affecting U.S. writers. America’s Darwin fills this hole and contours a number severe methods that learn U.S. textual responses to Darwin’s works.

The students during this assortment characterize quite a number disciplines—literature, heritage of technology, women’s reviews, geology, biology, entomology, and anthropology. All pay shut awareness to the categorical kinds that Darwinian evolution took within the usa, enticing not just with Darwin’s most renowned works, corresponding to On the starting place of Species, but in addition with much less regularly occurring works, comparable to The Expression of the feelings in guy and Animals.

Each contributor considers distinct social, cultural, and highbrow stipulations that affected the reception and dissemination of evolutionary notion, from ahead of the e-book of On the foundation of Species to the early years of the twenty-first century. those essays interact with the categorical information and language of a big variety of Darwin’s texts, treating his writings as fundamental resources necessary to comprehending the effect of Darwinian language on American writers and thinkers. This cautious engagement with the texts of evolution permits us to determine the huge issues of its popularity and adoption within the American scene; this strategy additionally highlights the ways that writers, reformers, and others reconfigured Darwinian language to fit their person purposes.

America’s Darwin demonstrates the numerous ways that writers and others healthy themselves to a story of evolution whose dominant motifs are contingency and uncertainty. jointly, the authors make the compelling case that the translation of evolutionary concept within the U.S. has consistently shifted in terms of triumphing cultural anxieties.

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See Louis Agassiz, “Evolution and Permanence of Type,” Atlantic Monthly (Jan. 1874): 92–101. 6. William James to Henry James, Mar. 9, 1868, in Ralph Barton Perry, The Thought and Character of William James, new ed. (Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 1996), 102, emphasis in original. For more on the relationship between James and Agassiz, see Louis Menand, The Metaphysical Club (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001), 97–148; and Richardson, William James, 65–74. 7. Eugene Taylor, “William James on Darwin: An Evolutionary Theory of Consciousness,” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 602 (1990): 8.

Ibid. 21. In her now-classic study of Darwin and the nineteenth-century novel, Gillian Beer sees “evolutionary theory [as] first a form of imaginative history” (8) and shows how heavily Darwin relies on narrative, analogy, and metaphor to realize his scientific ideas. See Beer, Darwin’s Plots: Evolutionary Narrative in Darwin, George Eliot, and Nineteenth-Century Fiction (London: ark, 1983), esp. 3–11, 19–26, 29–48, 79–103. 22. Darwin, however, cites Shakespeare incorrectly. The verse he quotes is from scene 4, where Marcus Andronicus says: “Ah, now thou turn’st away thy face for shame!

But when their suffering is somewhat mitigated, yet prolonged, they no longer wish for action, but remain motionless and passive, or may occasionally rock themselves to and fro. The circulation becomes languid; the face pale; the muscles flaccid; the eyelids droop; the head hangs on the contracted chest; the lips, cheeks, and lower jaw all sink downwards from their own weight” (Expression, 176–77). Although Expression is filled with photographs and illustrations depicting the physical qualities of emotional expression, Darwin also relies on these detailed prose descriptions, which are essential evidence for his argument.

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America's Darwin: Darwinian Theory and U.S. Culture by Tina Gianquitto


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