Monday, March 4, 2013
Neuroscience and the Literary History of Mind: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Attention in Jane Austen
Professor Natalie Phillips
Porter Hall 100 Gregg Hall
Natalie Phillips: Neuroscience and the Literary History of Mind: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Attention in Jane Austen
Natalie Phillips, Assistant Professor of English at Michigan State University, specializes in 18th-century literature, the history of mind, and cognitive approaches to narrative. Her first book project, Distraction: Problems of Attention in Eighteenth-Century Literature (in progress) traces how changing Enlightenment ideas about the unfocused mind reshaped literary form, arguing that descriptions of distraction in narrative advanced--and often complicated--scientific theories of concentration. She is also a leading figure in the emerging field of literary neuroscience, pioneering a series of interdisciplinary experiments that use neuroscientific tools, such as fMRI and eye tracking, to explore the cognitive dynamics of literary reading.