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Grant number like: FT-62149-14

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Lianne Adele Habinek
Bard College (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504-9800)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2014 – 8/31/2014

Early Modern Literature and the Birth of Neuroscience

My book project, Such Wondrous Science: Early Modern Literature and the Birth of Neuroscience, offers a novel approach to a question that lay at the heart of intellectual work in the early modern period: what was the relationship of immaterial soul to material body, and how could that relationship be expressed and understood? I show that the inception of modern neuroscience in the 17th century depended on metaphors drawn from literature to articulate a sophisticated understanding of the body's relationship to the soul. My work focuses on the metaphor of the microcosm ("little world") as represented in the anatomy of Johann Remmelin, the Catoptrum microcosmicum, a spectacular rendering of human bodies with layered flaps revealing organs and viscera. My study explores a text that could be used as a model for integrative thinking in our own time: Remmelin's anatomy can help us better connect disparate disciplines for a productive understanding of the human body and the mind itself.