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Palgrave Studies in Science and Popular Culture

Poison and Poisoning in Science, Fiction and Cinema

Precarious Identities

Editors: Klippel, Heike, Wahrig, Bettina, Zechner, Anke (Eds.)

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  • Examines poisons and related substances in a transdisciplinary context, comprising the history of science, literature and film studies
  • Conceptualizes poison as “precarious”. This innovative perspective highlights poison as a medium of undermining identity and society and takes poison as a metaphor for social instability
  • The contributions in the volume cover a wide range from prominent court cases, including the Lafarge affair, to scientific disputes, literary analyses and cutting-edge theory
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eBook $109.00
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-64909-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
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  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $139.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-64908-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $139.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-87900-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book is about poison and poisonings; it explores the facts, fears and fictions that surround this fascinating topic. Poisons attract attention because they are both dangerous and  hard to discover. Secretive and invisible, they are a challenging object of representation. How do science studies, literature, and especially film—the medium of the visible—explain and show what is hidden? How can we deal with uncertainties emerging from the ambivalence of dangerous substances? These considerations lead the editors of this volume to the notion of “precarious identities” as a key discursive marker of poisons and related substances. This book is unique in facilitating a multi-faceted conversation between disciplines. It draws on examples from historical cases of poisoning; figurations of uncertainty and blurred boundaries in literature; and cinematic examples, from early cinema and arthouse to documentary and blockbuster. The contributions work with concepts from gender studies, new materialism, post-colonialism, deconstructivism, motif studies, and discourse analysis.

 

About the authors

Heike Klippel is Professor of Film Studies at the Braunschweig University of Art, Germany. 

Anke Zechner
was a research fellow on the DFG project “The Poison Motif in Film” and is currently working on a research project on Poisonous Cinema.

Bettina Wahrig is Professor of the History of Science and Pharmacy at Braunschweig University of Technology, Germany. 

Reviews

“With the recent advances in genetics and forensic science, this book placing poisoning in historical and cultural context makes a welcome contribution. Through careful analyses, the contributors to this volume examine the ways that fiction-writers and film-makers have used poisons to structure their artistic works. Their studies bring together literary analysis and the history of science to reveal the cultural uses of ‘precarious substances’ that destabilize complex organisms.”  (Laura Otis, Historian of Science and Professor of English, Emory University, USA)

“This is a much needed book in times of toxic media-ecologies. With much elegance, the essays unfold the rich history of precarious objects and subjects we all seem to have become.”  (Karin Harrasser, Professor for Cultural Theory, University of Art and Design Linz, Austria)

Table of contents (16 chapters)

Table of contents (16 chapters)
  • Introduction

    Pages 1-11

    Klippel, Heike (et al.)

  • Female Poisoners in Eighteenth-Century Germany

    Pages 15-36

    Saatz, Julia

  • The Truth About the Lafarge Affair: Poisons in Salons, Academies, and Courtrooms During the Nineteenth Century

    Pages 37-56

    Bertomeu-Sánchez, José Ramón

  • “Nature Is Lopsided”: Muscarine as Scientific and Literary Fascinosum in Dorothy L. Sayers’ The Documents in the Case

    Pages 57-73

    Wahrig, Bettina

  • “Everything Stays Down Where It’s Wounded”: Precarious Ontologies and Ecologies of Poison

    Pages 75-86

    Trinkaus, Stephan

Buy this book

eBook $109.00
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-64909-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $139.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-64908-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $139.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-87900-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Poison and Poisoning in Science, Fiction and Cinema
Book Subtitle
Precarious Identities
Editors
  • Heike Klippel
  • Bettina Wahrig
  • Anke Zechner
Series Title
Palgrave Studies in Science and Popular Culture
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-64909-2
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-64909-2
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-64908-5
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-87900-0
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVIII, 254
Number of Illustrations
11 b/w illustrations, 13 illustrations in colour
Topics