Science plays form a flourishing dramatic sub-genre. The present study provides an informative overview shedding light on the diversity of ways in which the natural sciences and/or scientists are put on stage. Detailed text-based analyses of eighteen plays, many of them previously unexamined elsewhere, exemplify the genre’s remarkable variety.
Classics such as “Copenhagen” and “Arcadia” are discussed, as well as e.g. “Proof”, “QED”, “Taboos”, “Remembering Miss Meitner”, “An Experiment With an Air Pump”, “Blinded by the Sun”, and “Einstein’s Gift”. All plays look critically at scientific progress or promise, pointing at socio-political and ethical challenges for today as well as the future. The plays’ analyses are embedded into discussions of two vital discourses, the Two Cultures and the Science Wars, as well as the drama vs. performance studies paradigm. Together with background material on various themes, events and personae, “Science: Dramatic” broadens into a comprehensive work on the science-drama-society interface.
Universitätsverlag Winter GmbH Heidelberg
Adjunct professor of American Studies at the Otto-Friedrich-University Bamberg (Germany). From 2017-20 she was Visiting Scholar at the Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center (supported by the Fritz Thyssen-Stiftung). She specializes in 20th and 21st century North American literatures and (popular) cultures, leads an international and interdisciplinary research group on “Family Matters,” and is currently investigating family narratives through a reproductive justice lens.