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Literature, Science, And A New Humanities

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Literary studies are at a tipping point. ." There is broad agreement that the discipline is in "crisis"—that it is aimless, that its intellectual energy is spent, that all of the trends are bad, and that fundamental change will be required to set things right. But there is little agreement on what those changes should be, and no one can predict which way things will ultimately tip.  

Literature, Science, and a New Humanities represents a bold new response to the crisis in academic literary studies. This book presents a total challenge to dominant paradigms of literary analysis and offers a sweeping critique of those paradigms, and sketches outlines of a new paradigm inspired by scientific theories, methods, and attitudes. 

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This is an exhilarating book—a call for an intellectual revolution made with brio, unstinting reason, and an exciting proof of concept.”—Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor, Harvard University and author of The Language Instinct, The Blank Slate, and The Stuff of Thought

“Gottschall is a major star in the emerging field of literary Darwinism. Literature, Science, and a New Humanities makes a brilliant and passionate case that literary studies needs to adopt the research methods of the natural and social sciences in order to combat the intellectual sclerosis that has set in as theory’s grip has weakened. The book is beautifully written, highly intelligent, and morally bracing—it is at once a strong challenge, a how-to manual, a manifesto, and a clarion call to change.”—Blakey Vermeule, Associate Professor of English, Stanford University

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Johnathan Gottschall is English Instructor, Washington and Jefferson College.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Shrinking Possibility Space
• Part I: On Theory, Method, and Attitude
• On Theory
• On Method
• On Attitude
• Part II: Case Studies at the Nexus of Literature and Evolutionary Science
• The Heroine with a Thousand Faces
• Testing Feminist Fairy Tale Studies
• The Beauty Myth is No Myth
• Romantic Love: A Literary Universal
• Conclusion: FOTA
• Appendix A: Folktale Collections and Cultural Groupings for Chapters Four and Five
• Appendix B: Folktale Collections for Chapters Six and Seven

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