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On Flinching – Theatricality and Scientific Looking from Darwin to Shell Shock - Oxford Scholarship Online
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On Flinching: Theatricality and Scientific Looking from Darwin to Shell Shock

Tiffany Watt Smith


While the end of the nineteenth century is often associated with the rise of objectivity and its ideal of a restrained observer, scientific experiments continued to create emotional, even theatrical, relationships between scientist and his subject. This book focuses on moments in which scientific observers flinched from sudden noises, winced at the sight of an animal’s pain, or cringed when he was caught looking, as ways to consider a distinctive motif of passionate and gestured looking in the laboratory and beyond. It was not their laboratory machines who these scientific observers most close ... More

Keywords: flinching, objectivity, scientific experiments, emotion, theatricality, audiences, spectatorship, late Nineteenth century, early twentieth century

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780198700937
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198700937.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Tiffany Watt Smith, author
British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, Queen Mary University of London

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