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Victorian automata : mechanism and agency in the nineteenth century

Victorian automata : mechanism and agency in the nineteenth century / edited by Suzy Anger, Thomas Vranken.
9781009110129 (ebook)
9781009100274 (hardback)
9781009112093 (paperback)
Cambridge, United Kingdom ; New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 2024.
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1 online resource (xi, 347 pages) : digital, PDF file(s).
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Title from publisher's bibliographic system (viewed on 15 Mar 2024).
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The relationship between lifelike machines and mechanistic human behaviour provoked both fascination and anxiety in Victorian culture. This collection is the first to examine the widespread cultural interest in automata - both human and mechanical - in the nineteenth century. It was in the Victorian period that industrialization first met information technology, and that theories of physical and mental human automatism became essential to both scientific and popular understandings of thought and action. Bringing together essays by a multidisciplinary group of leading scholars, this volume explores what it means to be human in a scientific and industrial age. It also considers how Victorian inquiry and practices continue to shape current thought on race, creativity, mind, and agency. This title is part of the Flip it Open programme and may also be available Open Access. Check our website Cambridge Core for details.
Variant and related titles
Cambridge core frontlist 2024.
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May 22, 2024
Introduction. The Victorian automata/automatism schema / Suzy Anger
An afterthought on Victorian automata as afterthought (and signifier) / Thomas Vranken
Part 1: Mechanical automata. The mimetic faculty at work : the golden age of automata / Kara Reilly
Black steam : patents, portals, and the counter-histories of the Victoria android / Edward Jones-Imhotep, Alexander Offord
A short history of human-automata interaction / Simone Natale
Part 2: Automatism. The dialectic of automatism and free will / Roger Smith
The poetry of conscious automatism / Suzy Anger
"No purpose, heart or mind or will" : James thomson (B.V.) and psychological automatism / Tyson Stolte
Creative Trollope / Linda Austin
Darwin and agency : intention or automatism? / George Levine
Part 3: Literary genre and popular fiction. The automaton detective : Victorian reverberations / Thomas Vranken, Stephen Knight
"A doll, a dummy, a nothing!" : the criminal mesmerist, his automaton-subject, and debates on criminal responsibility in Richard Marsh / Shuhita Bhattacharjee
The invasion of the white mind : race, automatism, and mental hierarchy in the late-nineteenth century / Aren Roukema
Part 4: Interactions. Sublime puppets versus uncanny automata : artificial beings in nineteenth-century literature / Minsoo Kang
The strange career of Topsy : the problem of automata in the age of slave emancipation / Chris Dingwall
George Eliot among the machines / Sally Shuttleworth
A disembodied voice, yet the voice of a human soul : decadent automacy in L'Ève future / Richard Menke.

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