(0) items

Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.
On Flinching Theatricality and Scientific Looking from Darwin to Shell-Shock,9780198700937
This item qualifies for

Your order must be $59 or more, you must select US Postal Service Shipping as your shipping preference, and the "Group my items into as few shipments as possible" option when you place your order.

Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace Items, eBooks, Apparel, and DVDs not included.

On Flinching Theatricality and Scientific Looking from Darwin to Shell-Shock



Pub. Date:
Oxford University Press
List Price: $90.66

Buy New Textbook

Usually Ships in 3-5 Business Days

Rent Textbook

We're Sorry
Sold Out

Used Textbook

We're Sorry
Sold Out


We're Sorry
Not Available

More New and Used
from Private Sellers
Starting at $8.25

Questions About This Book?

What version or edition is this?

This is the edition with a publication date of 6/17/2014.

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any CDs, lab manuals, study guides, etc.


While the end of the nineteenth century is often associated with the rise of objectivity and its ideal of a restrained observer, scientific experiments continued to create emotional, even theatrical, relationships between scientist and his subject. On Flinching focuses on moments in which scientific observers flinched from sudden noises, winced at the sight of an animal's pain or cringed when he was caught looking, as ways to consider a distinctive motif of passionate and gestured looking in the laboratory and beyond. It was not their laboratory machines who these scientific observers most closely resembled, but the self-consciously emotional theatrical audiences of the period. Tiffany Watt-Smith offers close readings of four experiments performed by the naturalist Charles Darwin, the physiologist David Ferrier, the neurologist Henry Head, and the psychologist Arthur Hurst. Bringing together flinching scientific observers with actors and spectators in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century theatre, it places the history of scientific looking in its wider cultural context, arguing that even at the dawn of objectivity the techniques and problems of the stage continued to haunt scientific life. In turn, it suggests that by exploring the ways recoiling, shrinking and wincing becoming paradigmatic spectatorial gestures in this period, we can understand the ways Victorians thought about looking as itself an emotional and gestured performance.

Author Biography

Tiffany Watt-Smith, British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, Queen Mary University of London

Tiffany Watt-Smith is a cultural historian and a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for the History of the Emotions at Queen Mary University of London. She is currently working on a book about the cultural history of involuntary mimicry from 1850 to the present day. She is also working on a book for wider audiences, The Book of Human Emotions to be published by Profile Books. Before returning to her academic studies, Tiffany worked for ten years a professional theatre director, holding full-time posts as associate director at the Arcola Theatre and International Associate at the Royal Court. In 2004 she was a recipient of the Jerwood Award for Directors at the Young Vic.

Please wait while the item is added to your cart...