In what ways does literary study contribute to human knowledge, understanding, and flourishing? This introductory essay emphasizes the importance of an age-old question in the face of the devaluation of the humanities. Cognitive literary studies are well situated to address the ethical and pedagogical functions of literature. Broadly contextualizing the issue’s contributions within literary and cognitive theory, the essay describes their various explorations of reader processing and ethical involvement, including personal, social, and environmental improvement.
Introduction: Cognitive Literary Studies and the Well-Lived Life
Nancy Easterlin is a research professor of English and professor of women’s and gender studies at the University of New Orleans. She is author A Biocultural Approach to Literary Theory and Interpretation (2012) as well as author and editor of numerous essays on and special issues about cognitive-evolutionary theory and interpretation. Her current work applies place studies to the dynamic relationship among locale, identity, sociality, gender, ideology, and other factors in narrative representations.
Nancy Easterlin; Introduction: Cognitive Literary Studies and the Well-Lived Life. Poetics Today 1 September 2019; 40 (3): 377–394. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/03335372-7558038
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