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Theatre and the politics of engagement

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.

Competing imaginaries of science and social order in responsible (research and) innovation
Stevienna de Saille
Paul Martin

thought of as signifiers of disorientation in imaginaries of progress, markers for that which cannot easily be assigned to one side of the binary or the other, perhaps cannot even be properly categorised at all because they too are unknown, like the warnings placed over the uncharted portion of an incomplete map. To illustrate these points more clearly in the discussion that follows, we will draw upon both the Frankenstein story, as one of the original monsters in the socio-technical imaginary of progress through science, and more recent metaphors from popular culture

in Science and the politics of openness
Duncan Wilson

-bomb’ in a cartoon that portrayed a scientist cultivating a baby in a test-tube, before it emerged, grew into a monster and imprisoned him.15 Similar concerns appeared in the Daily Mail, which printed a cartoon that showed a ‘Doctor Frankenstein’ horrified to find that he had accidentally cloned the Prime Minister, Harold Wilson. The Times, meanwhile, highlighted the eugenic implications of IVF when it warned that politicians in totalitarian states might use it to ‘concentrate on breeding a race of intellectual giants’.16 Although IVF did not feature in Doomwatch, Kit

in The making of British bioethics
Robert Giddings

Lee as the evil aristocrat who indifferently runs his horses over peasant lads and or rogers the chateau servants. Memories are invoked of his sinister presence in Moby Dick (1956), Ill Met by Moonlight (1956), The Traitor (1957) and above all Lee’s Frankenstein’s monster, which he first played on screen in 1956. His definitive impersonation of Dracula was also on release at the same time as A

in British cinema of the 1950s
Open Access (free)
Religious influences on the depictions of science in mainstream movies
David A. Kirby
Amy C. Chambers

products have as much impact on public perceptions of science as the mass media. In popular works and in many scholarly texts the interface between science and religion has traditionally been depicted as one of unbridgeable conflict (Evans and Evans, 2008). This divide has a long pedigree in British Gothic literature. It takes early form in Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein (Shelley 1998), where a scientist plays God and creates a grotesque creature, rendering himself monstrous in the making of what the outside world deems a monster. In Bram Stoker’s Dracula (2003

in Science and the politics of openness
Full text access
Chris Bundock
Elizabeth Effinger

is made in Victor Frankenstein's ‘filthy workshop of creation’, 23 the printing house in hell where he engraves ‘in the infernal method, by corrosives’ ( MHH 14; E 39). For texts like The [First] Book of Urizen (1794) or The Book of Thel (1789) are not only about their namesakes but physically of them – similar to how Buffalo Bill, the murderous psychopath in Thomas Harris’ Silence of the Lambs (1988), is

in William Blake's Gothic imagination
Laura Chrisman

philosophical focus on Kantian notions of subject formation. Thus she reads Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as an example of oppositional critique. This is articulated in the way it criticises Victor Frankenstein for his substitution of theoretical for practical reason, and his attempt to invent ‘a putative human subject out of natural philosophy alone’ (p. 275). Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, like Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, charts the movement of a woman from social margins to centre. The centre in this case is the country estate of Mansfield Park, which owes its maintenance

in Postcolonial contraventions
Open Access (free)
Charles V. Reed

’. However, the meanings that colonial subjects attached to the tours and imperial culture itself, made in the empire, could not be dictated to or controlled by Whitehall, Windsor, or Government Houses in Cape Town or Bombay. Like Victor Frankenstein’s monster, they had a life of their own and produced unintended consequences. This work is about these complex processes of reception and appropriation

in Royal tourists, colonial subjects and the making of a British world, 1860–1911
Open Access (free)
Gill Haddow

trend that can be traced historically to the ‘creature’ created by a scientist ‘Frankenstein’ in the gothic novel by the author Mary Shelley (Shelley, [ 1831 ] 1993 ). A precursor to a body that is created entirely by assembling different organs, the monster created by Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ was a montage of materials from other human corporeal beings, but referred to as male nonetheless. In the introduction to the 1993 reprint, Jansson suggests: For Mary Shelley, however, two of the most important aspects of science centre upon the essential ‘masculinity

in Embodiment and everyday cyborgs
Open Access (free)
Catherine Hall

decayed and idolatrous civilisation. But if Negroes left much to be desired then the British bore responsibility for this: ‘we brought him here, and we have no right to complain of our own work. If, like Frankenstein, we have tried to make a man, and made him badly; we must, like Frankenstein, pay the penalty’. Like Trollope, Kingsley saw hope in coloured people, who claimed to be, and indeed were, ‘our

in West Indian intellectuals in Britain