Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

The Science of Becoming Noble: Rationalizing Aristocracy through Diagrammatic Notations for Dance and Drill in the Age of Enlightenment Public Deposited

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  • During the eighteenth century, diagrams increasingly became an important aspect of scientific inquiry. Diagrams employed simplification as a strategy for representing complex information, played a role in standardizing scientific language, and served as instruments of reason to think through and communicate problems and findings in mathematics, physics, chemistry, astronomy, natural history, and other areas. This dissertation centers on diagrammatic notation systems developed for dance and drill, practices associated with the nobility. Through an analysis of graphic strategies used in science, my study indicates cross-fertilization through diagrams for the sciences, for French court dances after 1700 and contredanses that became the rage after 1760, and for military drill – both the manual drill (i.e. use of firearms) and field exercises (i.e. marching in large groups). My research counters the view that people became increasingly individualized. Instead, over the course of the Enlightenment, these diagrams demonstrate increased interest in groups of people moving together in dance and drill in coordinated movements. Furthermore, these movement practices were diagrammed in increasingly abstract, standardized, and precise ways.
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  • Caulkins, Tamara. "The Science of Becoming Noble: Rationalizing Aristocracy through Diagrammatic Notations for Dance and Drill in the Age of Enlightenment." PhD diss., Oregon State University, 2019.
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