By Tina Gianquitto

ISBN-10: 0820344486

ISBN-13: 9780820344485

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

The students during this assortment signify a variety of disciplines—literature, background of technological know-how, women’s reports, geology, biology, entomology, and anthropology. All pay shut recognition to the explicit kinds that Darwinian evolution took within the usa, attractive not just with Darwin’s most renowned works, akin to On the beginning of Species, but additionally with much less known works, akin to The Expression of the feelings in guy and Animals.

Each contributor considers particular social, cultural, and highbrow stipulations that affected the reception and dissemination of evolutionary proposal, from earlier than the ebook of On the beginning of Species to the early years of the twenty-first century. those essays have interaction with the explicit information and language of a big variety of Darwin’s texts, treating his writings as basic assets necessary to comprehending the effect of Darwinian language on American writers and thinkers. This cautious engagement with the texts of evolution permits us to work out the huge issues of its recognition 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 various 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 idea within the U.S. has regularly shifted when it comes to winning cultural anxieties.

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Extra info for America's Darwin: Darwinian Theory and U.S. Culture

Example text

His third principle simply emphasizes “the direct action of the excited nervous system on the body” (69). Taken together, these three principles help us to comprehend the origins, the universality, and the involuntary power of emotion and emotional expression. They also, in Darwin’s view, provide further support for evolutionary thinking and further invalidation of the era’s scientific racism: “the study of the theory of expression confirms to a certain limited extent the conclusion that man is derived from some lower animal form, and supports the belief of the specific or sub-specific unity of the several races” (360).

Persons as densely ignorant . . ” Just as contingency or chance are key aspects of James’s and Darwin’s thinking, so are pluralism and uncertainty. ” Thus, it is not surprising that James imagines an almost infinite variety in the kinds, intensities, and experiences of emotion: “there is no limit to the number of possible different emotions which may exist, and . . the emotions of different individuals may vary indefinitely” (Psychology, 357, emphasis in original). Moreover, his discussion of emotion in Psychology: Briefer Course emphasizes expressions of feeling that resist easy categorization or explanation—affective reactions such as a dry mouth, a lump in the throat, ticklishness, and so on (364–65).

In both cases the eyes and mouth are widely opened, and the eyebrows raised. . The heart beats quickly and violently, so that it palpitates or knocks against the ribs. . the skin instantly becomes pale, as during incipient faintness. . The hairs also on the skin stand erect; and the superficial muscles shiver. . The breathing is hurried. The salivary glands act imperfectly; the mouth becomes dry. . One of the best-marked symptoms is the trembling of all the muscles of the body; and this is often first seen in the lips.

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


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