Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Evolutionary literary criticism

One of the research interests that I have been pursuing over the past year (time and energy permitting) is what might broadly be called "evolutionary literary criticism".

In other words, what I'm interested in is the question of whether and how insights from the sciences - notably the field of evolutionary psychology - can be fruitfully applied to literary scholarship. Still being a novice in this field - which is not quite as recent a phenomenon as the heated debate currently taking place in the American academic context in particular may suggest - I haven't really produced anything concrete yet. But I'm working on it.

The scope and state of the debate around evo-lit-crit is documented by a Symposium on the topic, to be published in the next issue of the journal Style. PDF's of all articles in this issue can be found at the website of one of the contributor's to this collection: Joseph Carroll, Professor of English Literature at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and one of the famous names associated with this field.


Ario said...

I've been trying to get my head around this for a little while. I would be very interested to read your thoughts on this approach here.

The Wife said...


Thoughts will be forthcoming when I have a little more time to sit down and compose something coherent on this complex topic. I have fragments of sentences floating around in my mind, but have a few other things to get off my desk this weekend. For the moment, here's a post from July which addresses some of my points, albeit not in an explicitly evolutionary manner.

There's also a long comment I left at Happy Jihad's, when he was going gooey about a certain strand of evo-lit-crit that I'm no longer very interested in.

More soon!