RE: [biopoet] Suggestion for introductory text
Yes, ELF was mentioned by Nancy Easterlin at the meeting, but it was a bit frustrating to hear faculty in the audience asking for teaching assets on canonical lit and getting blank stares from the panel, when Style is newly out, and when some in the audience and on the panel are in or well aware of the new issue. Horses to water. jt
To Jeff Turpin and others who ask about a text for introducing evolutionary literary/art studies to people who express an interest:
Boyd, Brian, Joseph Carroll, and Jonathan Gottschall (eds). 2010. Evolution, Literature & Film: A Reader. New York: Columbia University Press.
Between two covers, this is the best work I know for an introduction to the broader field.
At 10:11 AM 1/7/2013, Carroll, Joseph C. wrote:
One more thing:
Carroll, Joseph. 2012. The extremes of conflict in literature: Violence, homicide, and war. In Todd K. Shackelford & Viviana Weekes-Shackelford, eds., The Oxford handbook of evolutionary perspectives on violence, homicide, and war, 413-34. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [ mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Carroll, Joseph C.
Sent: Monday, January 07, 2013 12:04 PM
Subject: RE: [biopoet] FW: Special issue of "Style" on Applied Evolutionary Criticism
Here are three evolutionary pieces from vol. 46, issue 2 of Style:
“The Truth about Fiction: Biological Reality and Imaginary Lives.” Carroll, Joseph. Style. Summer 2012, Vol. 46 Issue 2, p129-160. 32p.
"’Man is the Measure’: Forster's Evolutionary Conundrum.” Jonsson, Emelie. Style. Summer 2012, Vol. 46 Issue 2, p161-176. 16p.
“Social Minds in the Novel.” Easterlin, Nancy. Style. Summer 2012, Vol. 46 Issue 2, p257-260. 4p.
Carroll: The evolutionary human sciences are still in the process of forming a paradigm. Their model of human nature is not yet complete because it has not yet taken adequate account of the experience that forms the subject matter of the humanities. This essay is designed to help correct that deficiency. In the first part of the essay, I explain how scholars in the humanities can help construct the still developing model of human nature. In the second part, I argue that the proper subject of literary commentary is "meaning" and that meaning can be localized in the interaction of perspectives in authors, readers, and characters. In the third part, I argue that the main categories of human life history are also the main themes of fiction. In the final section, I offer suggestions about directions for future research.
Jonsson: Critics of E.M. Forster have often commented on the conflict between stagnated intellectualism and a mystified nature in his work. They have traced that conflict to cultural influences, or simply described it metaphorically. In contrast, an evolutionary perspective can help explain the conflict on a fundamental level, while accounting for the effect of particular stories. Forster's short story "The Machine Stops" centers on basic relationships among human beings, tools and the environment. I show that Forster suppresses normative human universals in that story in order to create an aversive atmosphere in the dystopian society he depicts. Further, I argue that though Forster misunderstands basic features of the human condition, he evokes real dangers in systems so inflexible that they cannot deal with the unexpected. Analyzing the deep but narrow vision in "The Machine Stops" can illuminate the sources of strength, and also the limitations, in Forster's authorial perspective.
Easterlin: The article reviews the book "Social Minds in the Novel," by Alan Palmer.
In other news:
Keener, Joe. "Evolving Hamlet: Brains, Behavior, and the Bard." Interdisciplinary Literary Studies 14.2 (2012): 150-63.
Gansel, Carsten, and Dirk Vanderbeke, eds.. Telling Stories: Literature and Evolution. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2012.
Jon Gottschall has a blog on narrative at Psychology Today: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-storytelling-animal
Judith Saunders, on D. H. Lawrence’s “Wintry Peacock,” forthcoming in College Literature.
Jon Gottschall, Brian Boyd, and Joseph Carroll: three brief “manifestos,” forthcoming in the newish journal Scientific Study of Literature. http://benjamins.com/#catalog/journals/ssol.1.1/main
Joseph Carroll, on Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections, forthcoming in Style.