This seminar is designed to introduce first-year students to critical issues arising from the circulation and display of scientific illustrations in the public sphere. Ironically, the theory of evolution-one of the most difficult scientific phenomena to represent visually-also is among the most widely illustrated. Today, evolutionary imagery appears in scientific textbooks, museum displays, comic books, paintings, films, and magazines. The course provides an in-depth look at the history and social meanings of evolutionary imagery in the trans-Atlantic world from the scientific illustrations of Darwin's theory of natural and sexual selection in Victorian London, to the family trees produced during the Scopes "monkey" trial in Dayton, Tennessee, to the anti-evolutionary imagery circulated by scientific creationists, to a range of recent artworks that explore evolution as a central motif. Students learn how to write histories of popular scientific illustrations by studying the images themselves. Throughout the course, attention will be paid to how evolutionary imagery has been infused with changing visual codes of gender, race, class, sexuality, nationalism, and ethnicity. This course is appropriate for students with interests in biology, gender studies, visual culture, science policy, science and law, and science and the media.
COURSE FORMAT: Lecture/Discussion
Level: UGRD Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS WMST Grading Mode: Graded
Prerequisites: NONE Links to Web Resources For This Course.
Last Updated on MAR-30-2006
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