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Major Authors: America's Literary Scientists

Global exploration in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries radically changed Western science, orienting philosophies of natural history to more focused fields like comparative anatomy, botany, and geology. In the United States, European scientific advances and home-grown ventures like the Wilkes Exploring Expedition to Antarctica and the Pacific inspired new endeavors in cartography, ethnography, zoology, and evolutionary theory, replacing rigid models of thought and classification with mo...

Start Date: Sep 01, 2010 Topics: General History, Natural History
Cost: Free

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Description

Global exploration in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries radically changed Western science, orienting philosophies of natural history to more focused fields like comparative anatomy, botany, and geology. In the United States, European scientific advances and home-grown ventures like the Wilkes Exploring Expedition to Antarctica and the Pacific inspired new endeavors in cartography, ethnography, zoology, and evolutionary theory, replacing rigid models of thought and classification with more fluid and active systems. They inspired literary authors as well. This class will examine some of the most remarkable of these authorsHerman Melville (Moby-Dick and "The Encantadas"), Henry David Thoreau (Walden), Sarah Orne Jewett (Country of the Pointed Firs), Edith Wharton (House of Mirth), Toni Morrison (A Mercy), among othersin terms of the subjects and methods they adopted, imaginatively and often critically, from the natural sciences.

Details

  • Dates: Sep 01, 2010 to Dec 20, 2010
  • Days of the Week: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
  • Level of Difficulty: Beginner
  • Size: Massive Open Online Course
  • Instructor: Dr. Wyn Kelley
  • Cost: Free
  • Institution: MIT OCW
  • Topics: General History, Natural History

Provider Overview

About MIT OCW: MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity.

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