Networking. Communicating with bodies and machines in the nineteenth century (Relié)

Laura Otis

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  • UNIV OF MICHIGAN PR

  • Paru le : 26/02/2002
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105,40 €
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Livré chez vous entre le 14 décembre et le 21 décembre
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This compelling new interdisciplinary study investigates the scientific and cultural roots of contemporary conceptions of the network, including computer information systems, the human nervous system, and communication technology. Laura Otis demonstrates that those roots are centuries old, not a modern conception. She shows how nineteenth-century neurobiologists, engineers, and fiction writers influenced each other's ideas about communication. Placing our own comparisons of nerve and computer networks in perspective, Otis explores their emergence in early analogies linking nerves and telegraphs. The interdisciplinary sweep of the book is impressive, as it focuses simultaneously on literary works by George Eliot, Bram Stoker, Henry James, and Mark Twain (among others), and on scientific and technological achievements by Luigi Galvani, Hermann von Helmholtz, Charles Babbage, Samuel Morse, and Werner von Siemens. This unique juxtaposition of physiology, engineering, and literature reveals the common thoughts of writers in widely diverse fields and suggests how our current comparisons of nerve and computer networks may enhance our understanding of each. Highly accessible and jargon-free, Networking will appeal to general readers interested in the origins of twentieth-century neuro-cybernetic metaphors, as well as to scholars interested in interdisciplinary studies, nineteenth-century literature, and the history of science and technology.
    • The language of the nerves
    • The metaphoric web
    • The webs of Middlemarch
    • The language of the wires
    • Two telegraphers unhappy with their nerves
    • A web without wires
    • Wired thoughts

Biographie de Laura Otis

Laura Otis is Associate Professor of English, Hofstra University. In 2000, she was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship for her interdisciplinary studies of literature and science. Her previous books include Membranes : Metaphors of invasion in nineteenth-century literature, science, and politics and Organic memory : History and the body in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

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