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Neurology and Modernity
 
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Neurology and Modernity
A Cultural History of Nervous Systems, 1800-1950
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
10 Feb 2010
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£67.00
|Hardback In Stock
  
9780230233133
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

Citizens of the modern era found themselves singularly prone to nervous disorders, while at the same historical moment the nervous system became a privileged model for describing the organization of political and social spheres.
Neurology and Modernity describes and explores this intriguing coincidence, uncovering the centrality of neurological ideas of health, disease, and experience within the medical treatises, popular advice manuals, science fiction, literary fiction, spiritualist tracts, philosophy, government reports and military tribunals of the period 1800-1950. This volume traces and illuminates the cultural ideas and anxieties that informed representations of the nervous body, whilst showing how many of the most distinctive features of the period known as modernity seem to vibrate in sympathy with neurology's central concerns.
The thirteen new studies in this volume untangle the significant mutual dependencies between scientific neurology and the cultural attitudes of the period, exploring how and why modernity remained such a fundamentally nervous state.


Description

Citizens of the modern era found themselves singularly prone to nervous disorders, while at the same historical moment the nervous system became a privileged model for describing the organization of political and social spheres.
Neurology and Modernity describes and explores this intriguing coincidence, uncovering the centrality of neurological ideas of health, disease, and experience within the medical treatises, popular advice manuals, science fiction, literary fiction, spiritualist tracts, philosophy, government reports and military tribunals of the period 1800-1950. This volume traces and illuminates the cultural ideas and anxieties that informed representations of the nervous body, whilst showing how many of the most distinctive features of the period known as modernity seem to vibrate in sympathy with neurology's central concerns.
The thirteen new studies in this volume untangle the significant mutual dependencies between scientific neurology and the cultural attitudes of the period, exploring how and why modernity remained such a fundamentally nervous state.


Reviews

'This excellent collection opens up a fascinating area of discourse in relation to the modern area, moving the debate away from established thinking on 'nerves' in terms of neurasthenia, shell-shock and neurosis,and investigating a much wider range of issues – indeed a whole a culture of nervousness - informed by the new understandings of neurology. The essays range across a variety of fascinating topics (speech disorders, peristalsis, vibration-cures, paranoia), exploring the dethroned modern self, wired from within and without to its physical and social environment. For the student of bodily and mental cultures, this will be a vital text.' - Tim Armstrong, Royal Holloway, University of London


Contents

List of Figures
Acknowledgments
Notes on Contributors
Introduction; L.Salisbury& A.Shail
Beyond the Brain: Sceptical and Satirical Responses to Gall's Organology; M.K.House
Neurology and the Invention of Menstruation; A.Shail
Carlyle's Nervous Dyspepsia: Nervousness, Indigestion and the Experience of Modernity in Nineteenth-Century Britain; H.Ishizuka
Railway Spine, Nervous Excess, and the Forensic Self; J.F.Thrailkill
'The Conviction of its Existence:' Silas Weir Mitchell, Phantom Limbs and Phantom Bodies in Neurology and Spiritualism; A.Satz
Modernism and the Two Paranoias: The Neurology of Persecution; G.Rousseau
'Nerve-Vibration': Therapeutic Technologies in the 1880s and 1890s; S.Trower
From Daniel Paul Schreber through the Dr. Phil Family: Modernity, Neurology and the Cult of the Case Study Superstar; M.A.Tata
'I guess I'm just nervous, then': Neuropathology and Edith Wharton's Exploration of Interior Geographies; V.Plock
Sounds of Silence: Aphasiology and the Subject of Modernity; L.Salisbury
Shell Shock as a Self-Inflicted Wound, 1915-1921; J.Meyer
Modernity and the Peristaltic Subject; J.Walton
Matter for Thought: The Psychon in Neurology, Psychology and American Culture, 1927-1943; M.Littlefield


Authors


LAURA SALISBURY is RCUK Fellow in Science, Technology, and Culture and a Lecturer at Birkbeck, University of London. She has published various articles on Samuel Beckett, including one on his 'aphasic' modernism. She is currently writing a book on Late Modernisms for Edinburgh University Press and researching a study of the relationships between modernism, modernity and neurological conceptions of language.

ANDREW SHAIL  News International Research Fellow in Film at St Anne's College, University of Oxford. He is co-editor of Menstruation: A Cultural History (with Gillian Howie, Palgrave, 2005), and editor of Reading the Cinematograph: The Cinema in British Short Fiction 1896-1912 (University of Exeter Press, 2010), and co-author, with Bob Stoate, of a BFI Film Classic on Back to the Future (2010).