Poison and Poisoning in Science, Fiction and Cinema

Precarious Identities

  • Heike Klippel
  • Bettina Wahrig
  • Anke Zechner

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Science and Popular Culture book series (PSSPC)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Heike Klippel, Bettina Wahrig, Anke Zechner
    Pages 1-11
  3. Cases and Environments

  4. Metamorphoses

  5. Visualizing the Invisible

  6. Conclusion

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 237-237
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 251-254

About this book


This book is about poison and poisonings; it explores the facts, fears and fictions that surround this fascinating topic. Poisons attract attention because they are both dangerous and  hard to discover. Secretive and invisible, they are a challenging object of representation. How do science studies, literature, and especially film—the medium of the visible—explain and show what is hidden? How can we deal with uncertainties emerging from the ambivalence of dangerous substances? These considerations lead the editors of this volume to the notion of “precarious identities” as a key discursive marker of poisons and related substances. This book is unique in facilitating a multi-faceted conversation between disciplines. It draws on examples from historical cases of poisoning; figurations of uncertainty and blurred boundaries in literature; and cinematic examples, from early cinema and arthouse to documentary and blockbuster. The contributions work with concepts from gender studies, new materialism, post-colonialism, deconstructivism, motif studies, and discourse analysis.



poison on screen poison in a transdisciplinary context history of science history of poison poison as precarious fears of poison science on screen dangerous substances in film historical cases of poisoning motif studies

Editors and affiliations

  • Heike Klippel
    • 1
  • Bettina Wahrig
    • 2
  • Anke Zechner
    • 3
  1. 1.Braunschweig University of Art BraunschweigGermany
  2. 2.Braunschweig University of Technology BraunschweigGermany
  3. 3.Frankfurt a.M.Germany

Bibliographic information