Lunchtime Seminar: Jürgens on Scientists and Australian Imagination

Non-Scientists, Con-Scientists and the Rocky Horror Clown Show: Wondrous Science in the Australian Context

Thursday 23 March, 1pm Milgate Room, AD Hope Bldg, SLLL

Scientists seek to explore how nature works and ask how humanity can best comprehend different aspects of the world. In fictional and cultural contexts, scientists appear as rebels against the status quo and the ordinary. In the collections of the National Library of Australia, literary scholar Anna-Sophie Jürgens has discovered that some scientists even behave like artists: they are creative, skilled craftsmen, ‘imagineers’ or bewildering performers. By revealing how fictional and fictitious scientists do not merely domesticate the unknown, but also invent and stage it, she will provide new insights into the connections between scientific knowledge and the creative imagination in Australia.

Anna-Sophie Jürgens is a Humboldt postdoctoral fellow currently working “On the Origin and Evolution of a Species: Australian Scientists in Fiction”. She studied Comparative, Russian and French Literature in Germany and Russia. Her research interests include science in fiction, modern and contemporary circus fiction, the history of (violent) clowns, and aesthetics and poetologies of knowledge.


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