Cover image for Under the Literary Microscope: Science and Society in the Contemporary Novel Edited by Sina Farzin, Susan M. Gaines, and Roslynn D. Haynes

Under the Literary Microscope

Science and Society in the Contemporary Novel

Edited by Sina Farzin, Susan M. Gaines, and Roslynn D. Haynes

COMING IN MAY

$99.95 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-08978-2
Coming in May

272 pages
6" × 9"
2021

AnthropoScene: The SLSA Book Series

Under the Literary Microscope

Science and Society in the Contemporary Novel

Edited by Sina Farzin, Susan M. Gaines, and Roslynn D. Haynes

“This lively collection is valuable for its placement of literary criticism alongside scholarship on public engagement with science. It grants to authors a more nuanced understanding of the various dimensions of scientific personnel and practice than critics have previously acknowledged, and it offers such texts as spaces where the reading public can engage with questions concerning the nature of science.”

 

  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Bio
  • Subjects
“Science in fiction,” “geek novels,” “lab-lit”—whatever one calls them, novels about science open a creative space in which the reading public can experience and think critically about the powers of science to illuminate and transform nature and to create and mitigate social risks. The essays in Under the Literary Microscope examine the sociological and literary implications of the discourse taking place in and around this space, focusing on the interactions between processes of knowledge formation and the socioeconomic and political spheres.

The past few decades have seen a proliferation of novels about science in anglophone literature that move beyond the stereotypes that dominated portrayals of science throughout most of the twentieth century. Exploring the work of novelists such as Barbara Kingsolver, Richard Powers, Ian McEwan, Ann Patchett, Allegra Goodman, and Karen Joy Fowler, the contributors to this volume discuss the most prevalent scientific and social themes in new fiction about science; how the novel’s intrinsic formal features allow for the interweaving of the conflicting social and scientific discourses; and fiction’s responses to contemporary issues in science and technology, such as artificial intelligence, genomics, and climate change.

Perfectly structured for use in classes on science in literature, Under the Literary Microscope sheds light on and opens new avenues of inquiry into the intersections of science and society, science communication, and science education.

In addition to the editors, the contributors include Anna Auguscik, Jay Clayton, Carol Colatrella, Sonja Fücker, Raymond Haynes, Luz María Hernández Nieto, Emanuel Herold, Karin Hoepker, Anton Kirchhofer, Antje Kley, Natalie Roxburgh, Uwe Schimank, Sherryl Vint, and Peter Weingart.

“This lively collection is valuable for its placement of literary criticism alongside scholarship on public engagement with science. It grants to authors a more nuanced understanding of the various dimensions of scientific personnel and practice than critics have previously acknowledged, and it offers such texts as spaces where the reading public can engage with questions concerning the nature of science.”

Sina Farzin is Mercator Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities, Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut Essen.

Susan M. Gaines is the author of the novels Accidentals and Carbon Dreams and of the science narrative Echoes of Life: What Fossil Molecules Reveal About Earth History. She is Founding Director of the Fiction Meets Science Program and Writer in Residence at the University of Bremen.

Roslynn D. Haynes is Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Arts and Media, University of New South Wales.