Literature & Science Virtual Special Issue English Studies

English Studies

The idea that the study of literature is of its very nature an interdisciplinary activity has long been well established. For many decades now, it has been a given that it is impossible to analyse literature in isolation, without considering the influences of other humanities subjects, such as history, philosophy and politics. However, the notion that literature and the sciences are as inexorably connected has taken much longer to take root. Although the deleterious effects of the chasm dividing the “two cultures” of the humanities and the sciences had been laid bare by C.P. Snow as far back as 1959, it wasn’t until fairly recently that science and literature came to be studied in conjunction rather than separation, in the field of English Studies as well as other sub-disciplines of the Humanities.

English Studies has published a plethora of material that opens up literature to the scientific gaze and analyses the role of science within literary works. As such, this virtual special issue features articles from across a wide range of both literary and scientific disciplines, from the construction of language in early scientific writing of the middle ages, ranging to the role of eugenics in H.G Wells’ science fiction and studies of psychiatry in contemporary literature. Taken together, these articles offer a powerful testimony to the potential of a truly interdisciplinary approach and contribute, each in their own way, to bridging the ever-narrowing gap between the humanities and sciences.

Odin Dekkers, Editor-in-Chief of English Studies 
Helen Gilmour, Editorial Assistant, Routledge

Read and download these articles for free via this page until 31st March 2018.