Victorian Automata : Mechanism and Agency in the Nineteenth Century, Hardback Book

Victorian Automata : Mechanism and Agency in the Nineteenth Century Hardback

Edited by Suzy (University of British Columbia, Vancouver) Anger, Thomas (University of the South Pacific) Vranken


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The relationship between lifelike machines and mechanistic human behaviour provoked both fascination and anxiety in Victorian culture.

This collection is the first to examine the widespread cultural interest in automata – both human and mechanical – in the nineteenth century.

It was in the Victorian period that industrialization first met information technology, and that theories of physical and mental human automatism became essential to both scientific and popular understandings of thought and action.

Bringing together essays by a multidisciplinary group of leading scholars, this volume explores what it means to be human in a scientific and industrial age.

It also considers how Victorian inquiry and practices continue to shape current thought on race, creativity, mind, and agency.

This title is part of the Flip it Open programme and may also be available Open Access.

Check our website Cambridge Core for details.


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