"It is true, the spoken word enlightens both the spirit and the soul. Indeed, the HENDRICK’S Master Distiller can often be heard talking at length to her ‘two little sweeties’ – the delightful and peculiarly small copper pot stills from which the most unusual gin flows."
THE GOTHIC LABORATORY: Medicine, the Imagination, and the Gothic
With Dr. Keir Waddington
Wednesday the 25th April 2012
Doors at 6 pm, Show commences at 7 pm
As Frankenstein sets about creating his creature, Shelley describes how "In a solitary chamber, or rather cell, at the top of the house, and separated from all the other apartments by a gallery and staircase" Frankenstein kept his "workshop of filthy creation" where "eyeballs were starting from their sockets in attending to the details" of his experiments.
Such lurid images of places of experimentation help build up the horror, but Shelley's image of the laboratory and its proximity to domestic spaces proved an enduring one that was to find resonance in the late Victorian writing of Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stephenson, etc as writers explored the nature of medical experimentation and contemporary fears and debates about
medical science. In examining how medical spaces were imagined in Gothic fiction, the talk looks at how the laboratory and other experimental spaces were represented and how these representations shaped public perceptions of the laboratory and medical science.
Keir Waddington is a Reader in History at Cardiff University. Aside from his latest work on the history of sausages, he has written about hospitals in London, madness and the asylum, medical education and the social work of London's medical students and has recently published a
textbook on the social history of medicine, which explores the last 500 years of medicine in under 150,000 words. Co-director of the Collaborative Interdisciplinary Study of Science, Medicine and the Imagine (CISSMI) Research Group, he is currently involved in projects on science, medicine and literature, as well as "Off Sick" which explores families experiences of illness and their encounters with medical institutions, while he is also researching anti-vivisection and Gothic images of the hospital and ideas of health and disease in rural Wales
Talks at 11 Mare Street - please click here to buy tickets