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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: October ::
Shakespeare and Science
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1795  Tuesday, 25 October 2005

[1] 	From: 	Marcia Eppich-Harris <
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	Date: 	Friday, 21 Oct 2005 07:47:22 -0700
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1783 Shakespeare and Science

[2] 	From: 	Scot Zarela <
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	Date: 	Friday, 21 Oct 2005 12:02:21 -0700
	Subj: 	Shakespeare and Science


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Marcia Eppich-Harris <
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Date: 		Friday, 21 Oct 2005 07:47:22 -0700
Subject: 16.1783 Shakespeare and Science
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1783 Shakespeare and Science

I don't think anyone has mentioned midwifery in Shakespeare, which of 
course, is medical science in the Renaissance. There's a book called 
"Midwiving Subjects in Shakespeare's England" that might be interesting. 
Here's what the book jacket says:

"At the intersections of early modern literature and history, 
Shakespeare and Women's Studies, Midwiving Subjects explores how 
Shakespearean drama and contemporary medical, religious and popular 
texts figured the midwife as a central producer of the body's cultural 
markers. In addition to attending most Englishwomen's births and 
testifying to their in extremis confessions about paternity, the midwife 
allegedly controlled the size of one's tongue and genitals at birth and 
was obligated to perform virginity exams, impotence tests and emergency 
baptisms. The signs of purity and masculinity, paternity and salvation 
were inherently open to interpretation, yet early modern culture 
authorized midwives to generate and announce them. Midwiving Subjects, 
then, challenges recent studies that read the midwife as a woman whose 
power was limited to a marginal and unruly birthroom community and 
instead uncovers the midwife's foundational role, not only in the 
rituals of reproduction, but in the process of cultural production itself."

I'm not sure how much of this book's focus is solely medical/scientific, 
but it sounds like an interesting overall cultural study of women.

Marcia Eppich-Harris

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Scot Zarela <
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Date: 		Friday, 21 Oct 2005 12:02:21 -0700
Subject: 	Shakespeare and Science

William Empson's "Fairy Flight in Midsummer Night's Dream" (in his 
_Essays on Shakespeare_, Cambridge, 1986).  On how fast they must go to 
"compass the globe" or run from the sun.

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