SSI1 140

Electric Bodies: Experiment in the Age of the Enlightenment

This course focuses on scientific studies of electricity and the development of electrical technologies in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. During this period, electricians debated the authority and utility of different kinds of experimental methods and theoretical approaches. From developing electrical machines to using their own bodies in experiments, electricians sought to better understand the natural world and their place within it. Situated in the context of the Enlightenment and numerous political upheavals, this course examines a range of issues through the lens of electrical research: how does society--e.g. through its religious beliefs, art, economics, politics, etc.--shape science, and how does science shape society, affecting institutions, cultural values, and national and personal identity? Affiliate program: Science, Technology, and Society.