HUMANITIES 651: "HUMANITIES AND SCIENCE."
It is sometimes assumed that the "two cultures" of science and literature are as different from one another as fact from fiction. In this course, we consider how fact and fiction overlap in the area shared by the sciences and the humanities. We will look at how scientific writing is shaped by literary influences, how fiction and drama have represented facts about science, and how fact and fiction come together in biographies of great scientists. Among the authors and scientists studied will be Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Alan Turing, and Stephen Jay Gould. The course will be taught through weekly seminar meetings, with an emphasis on intensive reading, writing, and discussion.
Instructor: Professor Jan Golinski Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Office: Horton 301D Phone: 862-3789
Classes: Monday 4.10-6.00 Hamilton Smith 141
Office hours: M 11.00-12.00, W 2.00-3.00, and by appointment.
Instructorís web page: http://www.unh.edu/history/golinski/index.html
Required Books (available from UNH Bookstore and Durham Book Exchange):
1. C.P. Snow, The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution
(Cambridge University Press, 1993, ISBN: 0521457300).
2. Michael Frayn, Copenhagen (Anchor Books, 2000, ISBN: 0385720793).
3. Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (Dover, 1994, ISBN: 0486282112).
4. Sinclair Lewis, Arrowsmith (Signet Classic, 1998, ISBN: 0451526910).
5. Carl Djerassi and Roald Hoffman, Oxygen (John Wiley, 2001, ISBN: 3527304134).
6. Denis Overbye, Einstein in Love (Penguin Books, 2001, ISBN: 0141002212).
7. Andrew Hodges, Alan Turing: The Enigma (Walker & Co., 2000, ISBN: 0802775802).
In addition, there is a required reader, available from Durham Copy, containing the following readings:
1. T.H. Huxley, "Lectures on Evolution" (1876), from Science and
Hebrew Tradition (New York: Appleton, 1899), pp. 46-74.
2. Stephen Jay Gould, "Worm for a Century, and All Seasons," from Henís Teeth and Horseís Toes (London: Penguin, 1984), pp. 120-133.
3. S.J. Gould, "Cardboard Darwinism," from An Urchin in the Storm (New York: Norton, 1988), pp. 26-50.
4. Gillian Beer, "Forging the Missing Link: Interdisciplinary Stories," from Open Fields: Science in Cultural Encounter (Oxford U.P., 1996), pp. 115-145.
5. Arthur S. Eddington, Science and the Unseen World (New York: Macmillan, 1929), pp. xi-19.
6. John Tyndall, "Scientific Use of the Imagination," from Fragments of Science for Unscientific People (New York: Appleton, 1871), pp. 127-163.
7. A. S. Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World (Cambridge U.P., 1944), pp. 11-26.
8. G. Beer, "Translation or Transformation? The Relations of Literature and Science," from Open Fields, pp. 173-195.
9. Duncan M. Porter and Peter W. Graham, eds., The Portable Darwin (Penguin, 1993), pp. vii-xiv.
10. Adrian Desmond and James Moore, Darwin (Penguin, 1992), chaps. 9, 15, 16, 21, 25.
11. Janet Browne, Charles Darwin: Voyaging (New York: Knopf, 1995), chaps. 7, 15, 16, 20.
12. Jeremy Bernstein, "A Portrait of Alan Turing," from Cranks, Quarks, and the Cosmos (New York: Basic Books, 1993), pp. 92-102.
Six single-page reports will be required, one each on the readings by Snow, Shelley, Lewis, Frayn, Overbye, and Hodges. These will be due in the class when the reading is discussed. They will be returned to you for revision. The first three reports will be due for grading on 4 November, the last three will be due for grading on 27 November. The reports count for 30% of the total grade.
There will be short quizzes in class on 30 September and 2 December (worth 10% each). There will be a take-home final exam, due on 16 December (4.00 p.m.), worth 15% of the grade. The remainder of the grade will be assigned for the final paper project: 5% for the synopsis and bibliography (due on 12 November), 5% for a short oral presentation of the topic on 9 December, and 25% for the paper itself also due on 9 December.
Schedule of classes:
9 Sep Introduction to the course
16 Sep The "Two Cultures"?
Reading: Snow, Two Cultures.
REPORT #1 DUE
23 Sep Themes of popular science: evolution.
Reading: Huxley, Gould, Beer from the Reader.
30 Sep Themes of popular science: physics.
Reading: Eddington, Tyndall, Beer from the Reader.
IN-CLASS QUIZ #1
7 Oct The scientist in the novel (I).
Reading: Shelley, Frankenstein.
REPORT #2 DUE
14 Oct MID-SEMESTER HOLIDAY
21 Oct The scientist in the novel (II).
Reading: Lewis, Arrowsmith [selections].
REPORT #3 DUE
28 Oct Scientific drama (I).
Reading: Djerassi and Hoffmann, Oxygen.
[Class conducted by Dean Arthur Greenberg.]
4 Nov Scientific drama (II).
Reading: Frayn, Copenhagen.
REPORT #4 DUE
REPORTS #1-3 DUE FOR GRADING
11 Nov VETERANSí DAY HOLIDAY
12 Nov Scientific biography (Darwin).
Reading: Porter & Graham, Desmond & Moore, Browne from the Reader.
SYNOPSIS & BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR FINAL PAPER DUE
18 Nov Scientific biography (Einstein).
Reading: Overbye, Einstein in Love [selections].
REPORT #5 DUE
25 Nov Scientific biography (Turing) (I).
Reading: Hodges, Alan Turing [selections].
REPORT #6 DUE
27 Nov READING DAY
REPORTS #4-6 DUE FOR GRADING
2 Dec Scientific biography (Turing) (II).
Reading: Hodges, Alan Turing [selections], Bernstein in the Reader.
IN-CLASS QUIZ #2
9 Dec Oral presentations.
FINAL PAPERS DUE
16 Dec (4.00 p.m.) TAKE-HOME FINAL EXAM DUE