Dystopian performatives and vertigo aesthetics in popular theatre
Simon Parry

This chapter examines two Broadway musicals, Wicked and Urinetown, and two plays first staged at London’s National Theatre, Earthquakes in London and The Effect. It looks at how these examples of popular theatre register public feelings about contemporary science and technology. Their various modes of theatricality establish a relationship between performers and spectators but also articulate connections between a range of scientific discourses on climate change, population change, water management, genetics and neuroscience; apparently anti-scientific cultural forms such as myth, mysticism and magic; and aesthetic conventions from literary fiction, pop music and fashion. The chapter argues that speculative theatrical practices offer ways of engaging with uncomfortable knowledge.

in Science in performance
Theatre of Debate
Simon Parry

This chapter provides a case study of the theatre company Y Touring and their development of a dramaturgical process known as Theatre of Debate. The work of the company over more than twenty-five years touring secondary schools across the UK and beyond provides an important benchmark for collaborations between scientists, theatre-makers and educators. The chapter charts the development of the company’s extensive repertoire of plays covering major areas of biomedicine including genetics and neuroscience. It goes on to discuss how Theatre of Debate offers a distinctive approach to an education in somatic expertise opening up emerging ethical issues to contest and debate.

in Science in performance
Open Access (free)
Bonnie Clementsson

In this chapter the reader learns about the early-modern Swedish judicial system and the ecclesiastical structure. The judicial body, which was fairly uniform, consisted of three secular levels. Each level had its counterpart in the ecclesiastical structure. Readers are also introduced to incest prohibitions in a historical context with a focus on Christian rules and notions. The differences between Catholic and Protestant ideas in respect of incest prohibitions are clarified. The intense debate that was going on between theologians on a European level before, during, and after the Reformation is discussed and the outcome presented. Finally, the position of Johan Stiernhöök, a high-ranking Swedish jurist in the late 1600s, is demonstrated in order to explain the judicial discourse in Sweden at the point in time where the investigation begins.

in Incest in Sweden, 1680–1940
Open Access (free)
City DNA, public health and a new urban imaginary
Michael Keith and Andreza Aruska de Souza Santos

The availability of big data as well as life in an urban age has created expectations about the prediction and control of diseases. And yet, at the same time, cultural and gender nuances have made it necessary to reconceptualise wellbeing. In this chapter we bring together arguments presented throughout this volume about expectations and limitations when addressing health in the city. What has been demonstrated throughout this volume is that public health is a common good as much as it is an individual choice. The balance between ‘my body, my rules’ and the shared space that connects everything and everyone is one that demands constant negotiation. The trade offs and instability between the individual and communities are also a discussion of the availability of resources such as individually tailored treatments and the epidemics of city life. In this complex system of connected individuals living across different urban realities, we have contributed by concluding that medical knowledges demand a new urban imaginary: thinking experimentally about optimising public health interventions in global processes of urban transformation.

in Urban transformations and public health in the emergent city
Transnational reflections from Brazilians in London and Maré, Rio de Janeiro
Cathy McIlwaine, Miriam Krenzinger, Yara Evans, and Eliana Sousa Silva

This chapter examines the ways in which violence against women and girls (VAWG) affects women’s health and wellbeing in cities. In a context whereby one in three women globally experience such violence, with arguably higher incidence in cities, it explores these processes in relation to wider debates on the gender-blindness of right to the city discourse and the importance of considering gender justice in cities from a relational perspective. The chapter draws empirically on the transnational nature of urban VAWG among Brazilian migrant women in London and those residing in the marginalised slums of one of Rio de Janeiro’s largest favelas, Complexo da Maré. It shows how VAWG is diverse across multiple spaces of the city and how it fundamentally undermines women’s wellbeing and health outcomes. However, it also illustrates that although the roots of VAWG lie in unequal gendered power relations, the challenges of living in cities can both exacerbate and ameliorate such violence.

in Urban transformations and public health in the emergent city
Analysing the linkages and exploring possibilities for improving health and wellbeing
Warren Smit

The ‘food environment’ of a city can be defined as the location and type of food sources found in an urban area, as well as the broader environmental factors that affect the production, retail and consumption of food in the city. The food environment of cities has an enormous impact on food security and on the health and wellbeing of residents, but this relationship has been under-recognised and under-studied, particularly in the global south. Drawing on work undertaken as part of an ESRC-funded project, Consuming Urban Poverty, on governing food systems to alleviate poverty in secondary cities in Africa, as well as other work undertaken by the African Centre for Cities, this chapter explores the multi-faceted ways in which the food environment of cities can impact on human health and wellbeing. First, the chapter examines the food environments of African cities, with a focus on the built environment, highlighting the diverse range of food outlets and complex patterns of food access. Second, it explores the multi-faceted ways in which the food environment of cities can affect human health and wellbeing. Finally, the chapter discusses possibilities for how food environments that are more conducive to health and wellbeing can be created and sustained.

in Urban transformations and public health in the emergent city
Bonnie Clementsson

This chapter is divided into two sections, the first of them dealing with a kind of intermediate period until 1872 and the second dealing with the later period. The first period is described as one that consolidated the seeds of change that were observed around the turn of the century in 1800. Incest was discussed as a moral crime, the number of judgements upheld by higher authorities diminished, and the punishments were often more lenient. After 1872, when several incest prohibitions were abolished, many of the relationships that had been consensual disappeared from the material, and incest came to be seen as a crime of violence. The notions of incestuous relations were also affected by changing attitudes with regard to, for instance, male and female sexuality, positive and negative eugenics, and age. The chapter ends with a comparison to developments in other European countries.

in Incest in Sweden, 1680–1940
Bonnie Clementsson

After a short review and update regarding social and judicial changes until the turn of the century in 1800, crime cases and marriage applications are once more analysed separately for the same period. The fact that the number of dispensations was rising dramatically from around the second half of the eighteenth century is discussed in comparison to economic and cultural changes and also placed in a wider European context. The material shows that a significant change in practical assessments of incest cases took place during the last decades of the century, even though the laws remained exactly the same as before. The changes can be related to cultural changes in society regarding religion, passion, family position, and age relations between spouses. The final section of the chapter analyses the political debates that followed, presenting the arguments for and against a liberation of some incest prohibitions.

in Incest in Sweden, 1680–1940
Bonnie Clementsson

In this chapter, incest crime cases and marriage applications are analysed separately. Statistics of incest crimes in several different relations are presented and normal punishments –and exceptions from them – are discussed. Practical assessments are compared to the theoretical legislation. Around the turn of the century in 1700, Swedish society was permeated by religious ideas, and the regulatory frameworks were very strict. Still, there was a certain scope for independent interpretation in individual cases, which points to the capacity of an agent to act within the framework of the structure. Crimes of incest that were discovered and applications for dispensation challenged the official legal standards; and in the practical handling of these cases, a pattern of cultural values appears that concerned notions of emotions and passions as well as notions of family hierarchy. The chapter ends with a summary and a comparison to developments in other European countries.

in Incest in Sweden, 1680–1940
A history of forbidden relations

This study brings out the norms and culturally dependent values that formed the basis of the theoretical regulation and the practical handling of incest cases in Sweden 1680–1940, situating this development in a wider European context. It discusses a broad variety of general human subjects that are as important today as they were hundreds of years ago, such as love, death, family relations, religion, crimes, and punishments.

By analysing criminal-case material and applications for dispensation, as well as political and legislative sources, the incest phenomenon is explored from different perspectives over a long time period. It turns out that although the incest debate has been dominated by religious, moral, and later medical beliefs, ideas about love, age, and family hierarchies often influenced the assessment of individual incest cases. These unspoken values could be decisive – sometimes life-determining – for the outcome of various incest cases.

The book will interest scholars from several different fields of historical research, such as cultural history, the history of crime and of sexuality, family history, history of kinship, and historical marriage patterns. The long time period also broadens the number of potential readers. Since the subject concerns general human issues that are as current today as they were three centuries ago, the topic will also appeal to a non-academic audience.