'A new kind of rays': gothic fears, cultural anxieties and the discovery of X-rays in the 1890s

Avery, S. 2015. 'A new kind of rays': gothic fears, cultural anxieties and the discovery of X-rays in the 1890s. Gothic Studies. 17 (1), pp. 61-75. doi:10.7227/GS.17.1.5

Title'A new kind of rays': gothic fears, cultural anxieties and the discovery of X-rays in the 1890s
AuthorsAvery, S.
Abstract

In 1895, the world of modern physics was effectively ushered in with the discovery of X-rays by the German physicist, Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen. X-rays rapidly changed the ways in which the human body was perceived, and their discovery was documented and fiercely debated in scientific articles, newspaper reports, literary writings, cartoons and films. This article examines a range of these responses, both 'scientific' and 'popular', and considers the particular significance of their repeated recourse to the Gothic and the uncanny as a means of expressing both excitement and disquiet at what the new X-ray phenomenon might mean.

JournalGothic Studies
Journal citation17 (1), pp. 61-75
ISSN1362-7937
Year2015
PublisherManchester University Press
Accepted author manuscriptAvery_2015_AAM.pdf
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.7227/GS.17.1.5
Web address (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.7227/GS.17.1.5
Publication dates
PublishedMay 2015

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