19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century, No 11 (2010)

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Narrating Darwinian Inheritances: Fields, Life Stories and the Literature-Science Relation

David Amigoni


This paper will revisit Gillian Beer’s capacious and extraordinarily rich work on narrative in Darwin’s evolutionary theory in order to consider how it continues to stimulate new work on the place of narrative in the science/literature relation. The paper will look at new scholarship on life writing in the history of science (by, for instance Thomas Söderqvist), and will go on to play close attention to the contested place of life writing and biographical narration in the elaboration of evolutionary theory in the ‘host field’ of nascent British Sociology as Darwin’s legacy and authority was debated at the beginning of the twentieth century.


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