Uddin, Lisa (2002) Abominable knowledge : popular culture in the science of human origins. Masters thesis, Concordia University.
This thesis argues for the generative powers of popular culture and asks what they can bring to a critical understanding of modern science. Drawing on literature in science studies, cultural studies and feminist theory, the project considers in particular how sensational discourses--from monster culture to detective fiction to celebrity expose--are productive in human origins research, and what kinds of knowledge they produce. It begins by theorizing connections between the scientific and the sensational through a cultural history and theory of missing links. Following is a combined textual and discursive analysis of "Lucy", a partial skeleton whose discovery in the 1970's led to the naming of a new species of ancient hominid. Lucy's case is seen simultaneously as a credible science of human prehistory and an incredible discourse of Western modernity. Her investigation and publication constructed an ape-like specimen (and her scientists) into multiple modern-day subjects, revealing in the process some highly cultural conceptualizations of being biologically human. Moreover, the case demonstrates the intolerable horrors implicit in researching half-human creatures, and the ensuing sensational efforts to humanize our apish beginnings.
|Divisions:||Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies|
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Pagination:||vi, 122 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.|
|Degree Name:||Theses (M.A.)|
|Thesis Supervisor(s):||Nadeau, Chantal|
|Deposited By:||Concordia University Libraries|
|Deposited On:||27 Aug 2009 17:21|
|Last Modified:||08 Dec 2010 15:22|
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