CANCELLED! Lecture with Lisa Zunshine: Cognitive Theory and Literary Practice: From the Notes of an Interloper

Lisa Zunshine, Professor in English at the University of Kentucky, speaks on how mind-reading in literature, theatre and visual art is affected by culture.

Mindreading: Cognitive Theory and Cultural Practice

To quote Webb Keane, an anthropologist who writes on religion and ethics, while “theory of mind and intention-seeking are common to all humans,” they are “elaborated in some communities [and] suppressed in others” (Ethical Life, 131). As a literary scholar working with theory of mind and fiction, I am interested in historical contexts that encourage or discourage certain types of mindreading associated with fictional characters, their authors, and their audiences. In my talk, I present a series of case studies from a wide range of cultures to speculate how implied values of different communities may foster or suppress particular patterns of mindreading in literature, theater, and visual art.


Lisa Zunshine is the author or editor of eleven books, including The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Literary Studies (Oxford UP), Introduction to Cognitive Cultural Studies (Johns Hopkins UP), Getting Inside Your Head: What Cognitive Science Can Tell Us About Popular Culture (Johns Hopkins UP), Why We Read Fiction: Theory of Mind and the Novel (Ohio State UP), and Strange Concepts and the Stories They Make Possible (Johns Hopkins UP), and a guest editor of the forthcoming issue of Poetics Today on cognitive approaches to comparative literature. She is Bush-Holbrook professor of English at the University of Kentucky and a former Guggenheim Fellow.

External web site about Lisa Zunshine

Published Jan. 27, 2020 5:17 PM - Last modified Apr. 8, 2020 6:04 AM