[Msa-discuss] Darwin and Literary Study

Jonathan Greenberg greenbergj at mail.montclair.edu
Mon Mar 10 15:19:29 EDT 2008

Attached please find a call for papers for a special issue of =

Twentieth-Century Literature (TCL) on Darwin and Literary Study.

Darwin and Literary Study
A Special Issue of /Twentieth Century Literature/ (/TCL/)
Guest Editor: Jonathan Greenberg, Montclair State University

 From its inception, Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection =

has provided a powerful spur to writers and artists, informing works =

ranging from H.G. Wells's /The Time Machine/ just before the turn of the =

20^th century to Spike Jonze's film /Adaptation/ just after the turn of =

the 21^st .  Darwin's thought has had an equally powerful impact on the =

social sciences, spawning the discourses of Social Darwinism and =

eugenics as well as the more recent fields of evolutionary psychology =

and sociobiology.   Because of the sometimes reactionary political force =

of such discourses, however, literary studies have been relatively slow =

to engage with Darwin's thought.  This special issue is an attempt to =

catalyze such an engagement: first, because Darwin remains understudied =

as an intellectual precursor of current-day literary theory, and second, =

because his current popularity, and his ongoing volatility as a =

political signifier, are themselves highly charged cultural phenomena.  =

This issue therefore seeks to go beyond existing =

evolutionary-psychology/cognitive-science models in order to consider a =

full range of the ways in which 20^th -century literature, film, theory =

and culture have engaged with the writings and ideas of Darwin and his =

followers. =

Topics might include, but need not be limited to: the literary =

representation of evolution; evolution in science fiction; Darwin in =

popular culture; Darwin and biopolitics; Darwin in relation to Freud, =

Marx, Nietzsche, or American Pragmatism; the politics of evolutionary =

biology; the politics of evolutionary psychology; Darwin in social =

thought; animal studies and the creaturely; evolution and the posthuman; =

theories of cultural evolution; evolution and representations of sex, =

gender, and race; Darwin and modernism; evolutionary biology in the =

"science wars" or the "two cultures" debate; questions of teleology; =

Darwin as anti-essentialist; Darwin and the idea of chance; =

non-Darwinian ideas of evolution; Darwin and ecocriticism. =

Please send essays and inquiries to Jonathan Greenberg: =

greenbergj[at]mail.montclair.edu. Deadline for submissions is 31 October =



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