Updated on 2024/06/17

写真a

 
TORII, So
 
Affiliation
Affiliated organization, Waseda University Senior High School
Job title
Teacher (Affiliated Senior High School)
 

Internal Special Research Projects

  • Keats' Poetic Imagination and Medical Science

    2023  

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      I have been conducting research on the relationship between Keats and medical science during the 19th century. This year, my focus has been on the fields of pathology and anatomy, which Keats studied as a medical student before he became a poet. Medical science experienced a number of significant breakthroughs in Britain at the beginning of the 19th century thanks to the Industrial Revolution, and this led to the development of pathology and anatomy through various experiments. My research this year has scrutinised how these developments changed the framework of medical science.   One of the most important influences on Keats was the eminent anatomist John Hunter, who established the basis of anatomy in the 18th century. Although Keats never had the opportunity to learn medical skills directly from John Hunter, the surgeon who trained Keats at Guy’s Hospital, Astley Cooper, was a close associate of John Hunter. Cooper’s lectures at Guy’s Hospital instructed medical students on how the organs of the body interacted with one another and tried to have them imagine what factors caused living energies. Keats studied such anatomical concepts through Cooper’s lectures, which improved his understanding of the importance of the internal functions of living things. For one of the remarkable features of Keats’s poetry is that it creates vivid images through the accuracy of the objects it describes. In other words, Keats’s acute sense of depicting objects gives readers a beautiful and deep inspiration by letting them imagine the inside of the objects. Furthermore, Keats had a unique belief about the purpose of human life. He did not hold to the Christian belief in the afterlife but developed his own idea that human beings will be able to have their own values when the environment forms their characters based on their own sensations and thoughts.  To investigate these connections between Keats and medical science further, I studied John Hunter’s thoughts at the time, particularly his idea of the essence of living things.

  • Keats' Poetic Imagination and Medical Science

    2022  

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    While reading the 19th-century medical notes and documents that Keats presumably acknowledged in his apprenticeship as a surgeon or later as a poet, I decided that my research this year would aim to understand the complex interpretation of the medical term vitalism, which regards the basis of living things as an energetic movement that comes from blood circulation or respiration. This doctrine was one of the significant notions Keats must have learnt as a medical student, as his poems reveal his strong interest in the mystery of humanity. Yet because the idea died out too soon with the discovery of urea, the first mineral created using a chemical reaction, only the first decade of the 19th century enjoyed it, and Keats's studies did not emphasize its importance.Thus, in the wake of my previous study focused on the relevance of vitalism and romanticism in the 19th century, I considered the medical documents and philosophical theories that must have been the archetype of vitalism. With or without directly referring to vitalism or some medical terminologies, my research this year analyzed Adam Smith, Mary Wollstonecraft, and William Cullen, who similarly identified the principle of living movement with vitalism – or what they called sympathy or sympathetic imagination. By considering such 18th-century ideology, I hope this research contributes to the further study of Keats's poetic imagination.