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B.S. in Actuarial Science

Otterbein University Course Catalogs

2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Aug 15, 2020  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

INST 3007 - “Hideous Progeny”: Literature, Science and the Public Good

Hours: 3
Although we often think of literature and science as being separate disciplines and cultures, throughout history they have often shared a common language, cultural heritage, and set of concerns. Particularly in the nineteenth century, literature and science often argued in unison for the “betterment of man’s estate,” as both novelists and scientists explored the question of our origins, the relationship between society and the individual, and what it means to be human. But in many literary narratives, such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818), the vast potential of science was also interrogated rigorously and prophetically. Could scientific progress, unchecked by morality and driven by pride, really advance humanity? Could Victor Frankenstein’s “hideous progeny” - the Creature who haunts the novel - foreshadow the unintended consequences of scientific progress as the century unfolded? How literature uncovers and articulates the big questions posed by scientific progress from the nineteenth century to the present. How literature presents science, and how science often uses literary conventions (e.g., storytelling, metaphor) to make its case and to effect social change. How some of literature’s predictions about science (both positive and negative) have been realized in contemporary society through vivisection, bioengineering, stem-cell research, germ warfare and pandemics, nuclear power, cybernetics, mind control, and the exploration of other life forms.
Prerequisites: Junior standing or above, and a minimum of one course from at least four of the following INST threads: 2000, 2200, 2400, 2600, and 2800.