Evolution, Literature, and Film: A Reader

Front Cover
Brian Boyd, Joseph Carroll, Jonathan Gottschall
Columbia University Press, 2010 - Science - 570 pages

Featuring thirty-nine essential essays by pioneering scholars, scientists, and critics, Evolution, Literature, and Film opens with an introduction to the principles of evolution, with essays from Charles Darwin on the logic of natural selection, Richard Dawkins on the genetic revolution of modern evolutionary theory, Edward O. Wilson on the unity of knowledge, Steven Pinker on the transformation of psychology into an explanatory science, and David Sloan Wilson on the integration of evolutionary theory into cultural critique. Later sections include essays on the adaptive function of the arts, discussions of evolutionary literary theory and film theory, interpretive commentaries on specific works of literature and film, and analyses using empirical methods to explore literary problems. Texts under the microscope include folk- and fairy tales; Homer's Iliad; Shakespeare's plays; works by William Wordsworth, Charles Dickens, Emily Brontė, and Zora Neale Hurston; narratives in sci-fi, comics, and slash fiction; and films from Europe, America, Asia, and Africa. Each essay explains the contribution of evolution to a study of the human mind, human behavior, culture, and art.

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About the author (2010)

Brian Boyd is University Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Auckland. The world's leading scholar of Vladimir Nabokov, he is also the author of On the Origin of Stories: Evolution, Cognition, and Fiction.

Joseph Carroll is Curators' Professor of English at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. His book Evolution and Literary Theory is a founding text of literary Darwinism, and his collection of essays, Literary Darwinism: Evolution, Human Nature, and Literature, gave the field the name by which it is most commonly known.

Jonathan Gottschall teaches English at Washington and Jefferson College. He is the author of The Rape of Troy: Evolution, Violence, and the World of Homer and Literature, Science, and a New Humanities, and the coeditor of The Literary Animal: Evolution and the Nature of Narrative.

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