Playing with Risk in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Science MMLA Panel Nov 3-6, 2011 St. Louis

full name / name of organization: 
Midwest Modern Language
contact email: 

This panel seeks papers that examine the theoretical and material practices of experiment and the production of scientific knowledge. Papers may deal with any aspect of scientific experiment in the the botanical, biological, chemical, and physical sciences, including aesthetics, representation, semiotics, politics, and cultural stakes. Questions for consideration include: How does conceptualizing scientific work as "playful" inform or challenge the purpose of experiment to produce "serious" knowledge? How might the spaces in which science is practiced, performed, and analyzed be conceptualized as a playground? How do literary texts play with depictions of scientific experiment? Applications of contemporary theory to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century texts are welcome as are literary analyses of scientific texts from this period.
Please email 300-word abstracts to Liz Hutter at by June 3rd.