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Marsh and the female offender
Johan Höglund

, Nordau influentially suggested that the increasingly urban and decadent cultures and citizens of fin-de-siècle Europe showed evidence of a counter-evolutionary process. Nordau dedicated his book to the Italian criminologist Cesare Lombroso, whose main contention was that crime was often hereditary, the irresistible impulse of an atavistic mind housed in a similarly primitive body, and that the ‘born criminal’ could be identified by physical ‘stigmata’ that indicated the person’s criminal propensities. These ideas connected with Francis Galton’s eugenics movement and

in Richard Marsh, popular fiction and literary culture, 1890–1915
Detection, deviance and disability in Richard Marsh’s Judith Lee stories
Minna Vuohelainen

frameworks drawing on criminology, eugenics, science, communications technology and psychical research. However, the voice of the independent, multilingual jiu-jitsu expert Lee, a cosmopolitan flâneuse equally at home in high society and the slum, disturbs accepted notions of gender, class, ethnicity, criminality and disability. The series repeatedly introduces binary oppositions between acceptable and transgressive femininity, Englishness and otherness, able-­bodiedness and disability, degeneracy and progeneracy, science and the supernatural, only to challenge and

in Richard Marsh, popular fiction and literary culture, 1890–1915
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Queer theory, literature and the politics of sameness
Author: Ben Nichols

In its contributions to the study of material social differences, queer theoretical writing has mostly assumed that any ideas which embody 'difference' are valuable. More than this, where it is invoked in contemporary theory, queerness is often imagined as synonymous with difference itself. This book uncovers an alternative history in queer cultural representation. Through engagement with works from a range of queer literary genres from across the long twentieth century – fin-de-siècle aestheticism, feminist speculative fiction, lesbian middle-brow writing, and the tradition of the stud file – the book elucidates a number of formal and thematic attachments to ideas that have been denigrated in queer theory for their embodiment of sameness: uselessness, normativity, reproduction and reductionism. Exploring attachments to these ideas in queer culture is also the occasion for a broader theoretical intervention: Same Old suggests, counterintuitively, that the aversion they inspire may be of a piece with how homosexuality has been denigrated in the modern West as a misguided orientation towards sameness. Combining queer cultural and literary history, sensitive close readings and detailed genealogies of theoretical concepts, Same Old encourages a fundamental rethinking of some of the defining positions in queer thought.

Open Access (free)
Theatre and the politics of engagement
Author: Simon Parry

This book is about science in theatre and performance. It explores how theatre and performance engage with emerging scientific themes from artificial intelligence to genetics and climate change. The book covers a wide range of performance forms from the spectacle of the Paralympics Opening Ceremony to Broadway musicals, from experimental contemporary performance and opera to educational theatre, Somali poetic drama and grime videos. It features work by pioneering companies including Gob Squad, Headlong Theatre and Theatre of Debate as well as offering fresh analysis of global blockbusters such as Wicked and Urinetown. The book offers detailed description and analysis of theatre and performance practices as well as broader commentary on the politics of theatre as public engagement with science. It documents important examples of collaborative practice with extended discussion of the Theatre of Debate process developed by Y Touring theatre company, exploration of bilingual theatre-making in East London and an account of how grime MCs and dermatologists ended up making a film together in Birmingham. The interdisciplinary approach draws on contemporary research in theatre and performance studies in combination with key ideas from science studies. It shows how theatre can offer important perspectives on what the philosopher of science Isabelle Stengers has called ‘cosmopolitics’. The book argues that theatre can flatten knowledge hierarchies and hold together different ways of knowing.

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Helena Ifill

are in part responses to popular concerns about the state of education, it is significant that Braddon and Collins were writing these novels at a time when scientific theories and social policies were tending towards more deterministic, less optimistic conceptions of heredity, and beginning to consider eugenics as the means of halting social degeneration. Both authors are asserting the ability and responsibility of society to raise good citizens, and are to at least some extent buffering the individual from blame. Reading the novels collectively, there is also an

in Creating character
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Helena Ifill

Nathan Sheppard’s claim that ‘there is absolutely no limit’ to the rule of heredity, that ‘all things’ good and bad are the result of its effects, seems even more portentous, and this is indicative of a trend in thought about hereditary influence that would continue to the end of the century. Theories of degeneration and eugenics were increasingly entertained, although not always endorsed, by doctors, scientists and policy makers, and were circulated in periodicals aimed at both specialist and popular readerships. B. A. Morel’s Traité des dégénérescences physiques

in Creating character
The demonic adoptee in The Bad Seed (1954)
Elisabeth Wesseling

of physical features, intelligence, religion and class background. This paradigm was developed in response to the turn-of-the-century eugenics movement, which was outspokenly anti-adoption. From a eugenic point of view, it was irresponsibly risky to import children from largely unknown family backgrounds into successful, healthy middle-class families, where they could become a liability as soon as

in Gothic kinship
Maria K. Bachman and Paul C. Peterson

, ‘Man’s most sacred duty, and at the same time his most glorious opportunity is to promote the maximum fulfilment of the evolutionary process on this earth; and this includes the fullest realisation of his own inherent possibilities’ ( Religion 218). The belief that humans have untapped evolutionary potential is also a key component of eugenics. Huxley, in fact, had been a supporter of eugenics throughout his career, although his views on how to improve the human species did evolve over time. 12 While various eugenics programmes and practices were accepted around

in Adapting Frankenstein
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The earliest image of an ambulatory mummy
Jasmine Day

growing interest in eugenics and racial theory throughout the remainder of the nineteenth century would come to dominate the interpretation of Egyptian mummies. Even a brief overview of the principal and lesser works preceding ‘Some Words with a Mummy’ that might have influenced it or shared some common source or ideology suggests that Poe was not merely following an established tradition of depicting revived mummies for comic effect, but specifically of using these characters to deliver social and political criticism. Allamistakeo's shaking fist

in Victorian literary culture and ancient Egypt
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Tattoos, transgenics, and tech-noir in Dark angel
Will Slocombe

past before such colonisation and because the symbol of the barcode is the only feature uniting their disparate bodies and experiences together. FROM TRANSGENICS TO EUGENICS Given the politics of the barcode that Dark angel explores, especially in relation to tattoos, it is perhaps no surprise that it also attempts to examine the issue of branding. In Season 2, a breeding cult called the Conclave is introduced. The Conclave is also a genetic breeding programme, but rather than genetic manipulation through science

in Tattoos in crime and detective narratives