Neue Tendenzen in den Geistes-, Kultur- und Sozialwissenschaften

Darwin's 'late style' and the Two Cultures

Dienstag, 26.03.2013, 16:15 Uhr

Prof. Dr. David Amigoni, University of Keele

Lecture Series Future Directions

Veranstaltende: Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies | Graduate School of the Humanities | Walter Benjamin Kolleg
Redner, Rednerin: Prof. Dr. David Amigoni, University of Keele
Datum: 26.03.2013
Uhrzeit: 16:15 - 17:45 Uhr
Ort: Raum F022
Lerchenweg 36
3012 Bern
Merkmale: Öffentlich

There has been re-newed interest in the idea of 'late style' since the publication of Edward Said's work on the subject (On Late Style: Music and Literature Against the Grain, 2006). This interest has important critical implications for thinking about creativity in later life; Victorian Studies, in common with other fields, has given increasing attention to the categories of ageing and identity in later life.

This talk asks: did Victorian scientific writers have a late style? Can present day writers of science make appeals to late style, and why? The paper will explore Darwin's last work on earth worms, noting that the earth worm was a topic that Darwin re-visited in 'late life', having visited it first as a young man in the 1830s. The talk will use the case of Darwin to consider more widely the place that 'late life creativity' might occupy in the debate about the place of creative expression in science by focusing on Edward O. Wilson's use of Gauguin in his recent The Social Conquest of the Earth (2012).

David Amigoni

David Amigoni, Professor of Victorian Literature at Keele University. His book Victorian Literature appeared in 2011. He is the author of Colonies, Cults and Evolution: Literature, Science and Culture in Nineteenth-Century Writinig (2007). His edited collection, with Jeff Wallace, Charles Darwin's Origin of Species: New Interdisciplinary Essays (1995), has just been re-printed. He has written widely on Victorian life writing, and the the relationship between Victorian literature and science.

Recently, he has worked on ageing through the NDA-funded 'Ages and Stages' project: and runs, with Professor Gordon McMullan (King's College, London) an AHRC-funded network on 'late life creativity':