The Theatre of Nuclear Science : Weapons, Power, and the Scientists Behind it All book cover
1st Edition

The Theatre of Nuclear Science
Weapons, Power, and the Scientists Behind it All

ISBN 9780367458508
Published December 21, 2021 by Routledge
178 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The Theatre of Nuclear Science theoretically explores theatrical representations of nuclear science to reconsider a science that can have consequences beyond imagination.

Focusing on a series of nuclear science plays that span the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and including performances of nuclear science in museums, film, and media, Jeanne Tiehen argues why theatre and its unique qualities can offer important perspectives on this imperative topic.

This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of theatre, politics, and literature.

Table of Contents


Introduction: The Nuclear Stage

0.1 Seeing Science as a Part of Culture, Us, and I

0.2 Using Phenomenology

0.3 History in the Making

Chapter One: A Matter of Time

    1. Copenhagen’s Uncertainty of Time and Truth
    2. Time Off Stage, Time On Stage
    3. Exploring Nuclear Science Museums: Timelines, Space, and Place
    4. Conclusion: A Tense Time

Chapter Two: The Power of a Human

2.1 In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Scientist on Trial

2.2 Embodiment on Stage and of History

2.3 Reykjavik and the Negotiations for all Humankind

2.4 Conclusion: Human Perspective

Chapter Three: Doomful Disaster and Responsibility

3.1 The Children and the Question of Guilt

3.2 The Phenomenology of Doom on Stage and Ethical Responses

3.3 Illuminating Invisible Dangers and Deciding Responsibility in Chernobyl

3.4 Conclusion: Power Problems

Chapter Four: The Limits of Reason

4.1 End of the World and Logical Loopholes

4.2 The Impossible Humor of Nuclear Weapons

4.3 The Physicists and Sensible Absurdity

4.4 Conclusion: The Last Laugh

Chapter Five: Future Imaginings

5.1 Possibilities on Stage: Three Plays that Look Ahead

5.2 Visions of the Future on Stage

5.3 Conclusion: Tethered to the Future

Conclusion: An Ending Untold


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Dr. Jeanne Tiehen is Assistant Professor of Theatre at Susquehanna University, Pennsylvania, USA.