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'Electrick communication everywhere': Order and Chaos in the Arts and Sciences 1740-1840 II

Friday 20 June 2014, 3.00PM to 5.00pm

Speaker(s): Dr Mary Fairclough

Electrical Itinerants: Science, showmanship and sedition 1745-1830

The second in a pair of public lectures offered by CECS for the Festival of Ideas 2014. They will explore the importance of the connections between the arts and sciences in the Romantic period. Recent studies in romanticism have questioned any simple dichotomy between the humanities and sciences in the period. Jon Mee and Mary Fairclough will examine the ways in which new discoveries in physiology, chemistry and electricity, and new scientific and educational institutions such as Literary and Philosophical societies, changed the ways that writers thought about their own literary practice and their communication with the public.

The second lecture, by Dr Fairclough, is entitled ‘Electrical itinerants: Science, showmanship and sedition 1745-1830’. Dr Fairclough will track the routes and the practices of itinerant scientific lecturers in Yorkshire and beyond, focusing on lecturers’ spectacular displays of electrical phenomena. These experiments proved the communicative effects of electric sparks and shocks, and this lecture will explore how electricity itself became a metaphor for many kinds of communication at this period.

For free registration, see the Festival of Ideas Website


Location: K/G07

Admission: Free - All Welcome