Reproduction by Design: Sex, Robots, Trees, and Test-Tube Babies in Interwar Britain

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9780226560694: Reproduction by Design: Sex, Robots, Trees, and Test-Tube Babies in Interwar Britain
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Modernity in interwar Europe frequently took the form of a preoccupation with mechanizing the natural; fears and fantasies revolved around the notion that the boundaries between people and machines were collapsing. Reproduction in particular became a battleground for those debating the merits of the modern world. That debate continues today, and to understand the history of our anxieties about modernity, we can have no better guide than Angus McLaren. In Reproduction by Design, McLaren draws on novels, plays, science fiction, and films of the 1920s and '30s, as well as the work of biologists, psychiatrists, and sexologists, to reveal surprisingly early debates on many of the same questions that shape the conversation today: homosexuality, recreational sex, contraception, abortion, euthanasia, sex change operations, and in vitro fertilization. Here, McLaren brings together the experience and perception of modernity with sexuality, technology, and ecological concerns into a cogent discussion of science’s place in reproduction in British and American cultural history.

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About the Author:

Angus McLaren

is a leading figure in the history of sexuality, professor emeritus of history at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, and the author of several books, including

The Trials of Masculinity: Policing of Sexual Boundaries, 1870–1930

;

A Prescription for Murder

; and

Impotence: A Cultural History

.

Review:

“An invaluable resource for historians of science seeking a deeper engagement with the intellectual contexts for interwar British science. McLaren’s tremendous knowledge of the era’s literary sources allows readers to take a deep dive into the interwar British elite’s hopes and fears about the impact of modernism and the rapidly developing
scientific knowledge and technology on human sex and reproduction.” (Isis)

“Through his shrewdly original assembly of a dazzling kaleidoscope of 1920s and 1930s texts by both the famous—Aldous Huxley, H.G. Wells, Dora Russell, Virginia Woolf— and the lesser known, McLaren interconnects eugenics, conservation, birth control, mechanization, feminism, artificial insemination, and the “ectopic” in a deep interwar genealogy of the vexing reproductive dilemmas that accompanied erotic modernism. Sometimes melancholy and often hilarious, Reproduction by Design is an indispensably erudite tour de force for understanding modern British sexualities and culture.” (Judith A. Allen, Indiana University, Bloomington)

“I know of no other work on interwar Britain, or even twentieth-century Britain that brings together modernity, sexuality, technology, and the environment in quite this way. The result is extremely compelling and successful. It is certain to attract a great deal of interest from both scholars and a wider audience.” (Stephen Brooke, York University)

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2012. Hardback. Condition: New. New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Modernity in interwar Europe frequently took the form of a preoccupation with mechanizing the natural; fears and fantasies revolved around the notion that the boundaries between people and machines were collapsing. Reproduction in particular became a battleground for those debating the merits of the modern world. That debate continues today, and to understand the history of our anxieties about modernity, we can have no better guide than Angus McLaren. In "Reproduction by Design", McLaren draws on novels, plays, science fiction, and films of the 1920s and '30s, as well as the work of biologists, psychiatrists, and sexologists, to reveal surprisingly early debates on many of the same questions that shape the conversation today: homosexuality, recreational sex, contraception, abortion, euthanasia, sex change operations, and in vitro fertilization. Here, McLaren brings together the experience and perception of modernity with sexuality, technology, and ecological concerns into a cogent discussion of science's place in reproduction in British and American cultural history. Seller Inventory # AAH9780226560694

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2012. Hardback. Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Modernity in interwar Europe frequently took the form of a preoccupation with mechanizing the natural; fears and fantasies revolved around the notion that the boundaries between people and machines were collapsing. Reproduction in particular became a battleground for those debating the merits of the modern world. That debate continues today, and to understand the history of our anxieties about modernity, we can have no better guide than Angus McLaren. In Reproduction by Design , McLaren draws on novels, plays, science fiction, and films of the 1920s and 30s, as well as the work of biologists, psychiatrists, and sexologists, to reveal surprisingly early debates on many of the same questions that shape the conversation today: homosexuality, recreational sex, contraception, abortion, euthanasia, sex change operations, and in vitro fertilization. Here, McLaren brings together the experience and perception of modernity with sexuality, technology, and ecological concerns into a cogent discussion of science s place in reproduction in British and American cultural history. Seller Inventory # AAH9780226560694

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