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A view from the industrial age

Topham, J.R. (2004) A view from the industrial age. Isis, 95 (3). pp. 431-442. ISSN 0021-1753

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Like the constructivist approach to the history of science, the new history of reading has shifted attention from disembodied ideas to the underlying material culture and the localized practices by which it is apprehended. By focusing on the complex embodied processes by which readers make sense of printed objects, historians of reading have provided new insights into the manner in which meaning is both made and contested. In this brief account I argue that these insights are particularly relevant to historians of science, first, because practices of reading, like those of experiment and fieldwork, are constitutive of scientific knowledge, and, second, because attention to the history of reading provides important evidence of the multifaceted and uneven contest for meaning that occurs when science is mobilized in popular culture. The essay concludes by considering some of the surprisingly abundant sources of available evidence from which a history of scientific reading might be constructed for the modern era.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2004 by The History of Science Society. Reproduced in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts (Leeds) > School of Humanities (Leeds) > School of Philosophy (Leeds) > Division of the History and Philosophy of Science (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts (Leeds) > School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science (Leeds) > School of Philosophy (Leeds) > Division of the History and Philosophy of Science (Leeds)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2006
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2014 06:39
Published Version: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/Isis/journal/issu...
Status: Published
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Refereed: Yes
Related URLs:
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1596

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