Title

“Dead eyes open”: the role of experiments in Galvanic Reanimation in nineteenth-century popular culture

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Stephens, E 2015, '“Dead eyes open”: the role of experiments in Galvanic Reanimation in nineteenth-century popular culture', Leonardo, vol. 48, no. 3, pp. 276-277.

Published version available from:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/LEON_a_01031

Abstract

During the first decades of the 19th century, a number of prominent scientists conducted experiments in the revival of dead organisms using new galvanic technologies. In several cases, these experiments were conducted on human bodies, using the corpses of executed criminals. Such experiments captured the cultural imaginary of the day, posing new questions about the relationship between emergent technologies, automated movement, and human agency. This article examines the role played by spectacle, aesthetics, and new practices and technologies of visualization in these scientific experiments.