Purdue University Graduate School
Parkison Disseration.pdf (1.36 MB)

The Society of Mad Scientists: Scientists and Social Networking in the Victorian Novel

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posted on 2020-06-29, 19:03 authored by Shawn Robert ParkisonShawn Robert Parkison
This dissertation explores the figure of the mad scientist in Victorian literature through some of the most enduring literary examples, viewing these works not as anti-science cautionary tales but rather thought experiments for dealing with hazardous scientists and hazardous science. It makes a claim for a spectrum of hazardous scientists from the beneficial to the truly mad and argues that the primary difference between them is a matter of socialization. It argues that these novels advocate for the scientist and society to negotiate and co-construct a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship.


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • English

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Dr. Emily Allen

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee co-chair

Dr. Manushag Powell

Additional Committee Member 2

Dr. Dino Felluga

Additional Committee Member 3

Dr. Adam E. Watkins