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Figuring It Out
Science, Gender, and Visual Culture
Ann Shteir, ed.; Bernard Lightman, ed.

Interfaces: Studies in Visual Culture

2006 • 416 pp. 126 illus. 7 x 10"
Film, TV, Visual Culture / Gender Studies / Visual Culture

$34.95 Paperback, 978-1-58465-603-6

“This intriguing collection will appeal to students as well as to established scholars who want to learn more about the relatively new field of scientific iconography.”—Isis

A collection of fifteen original essays analyzing gender in the imagery of science.

In light of recent debates about the culture of contemporary science and the place of women in scientific fields, Figuring It Out: Science, Gender, and Visual Culture offers a timely consideration of the role of gender in the imagery of modern Western science. Representing a wide array of interdisciplinary fields, the contributors focus on pictures of male and female figures as a way to study the workings of gender in science while using gender as a way to examine how visual images in science contain and convey meanings.

Roughly chronological in organization, part one focuses on mythological and metaphorical depictions of gender in early frontispieces, while part two looks at realistic images such as photos, illustrations, and exhibits from the nineteenth century. Part three highlights the workings of cultural norms of gender in twentieth-century science, illustrated through discussions of photos, television shows, advertising, and digital imagery. A common theme in the book is an emphasis on questions of representation and interpretive problems such as agency and identity. The volume explores a host of themes, including the gendered cultures of science and medicine, technologies of display, and the role of sexualities and sexual difference in the construction of figural vocabularies of science.

Sumptuously illustrated, this collection will appeal to scholars and students of the history of science, women’s studies, art history, literature, and interdisciplinary fields.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“This collection ably demonstrates the value of reading the visual and figurative languages of science through the lens of gender and establishes important signposts to direct further exploration in the future.”Nineteenth-Century Contexts

“Truly delightful pieces of research and writing here. Let us hope that this book prompts further sustained and thoughtful engagement with the ways in which items of visual culture can be integrated into historical practice.”—British Journal for the History of Science

“Fresh and insightful essays.”—Annals of Science

ANN B. SHTEIR is Professor of Humanities and Women’s Studies at York University, Toronto, and author of Cultivating Women, Cultivating Science: Flora’s Daughters and Botany in England, 1760–1860 (1996). BERNARD LIGHTMAN is Professor of Humanities at York University, author of The Origins of Agnosticism: Victorian Unbelief and the Limits of Knowledge (1987), and editor of the journal Isis.

Tue, 15 May 2018 13:00:47 -0500