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George Levine

Professor Emeritus, Department of English, Rutgers University
Distinguished Scholar in Residence, New York University

Darwin, the Methods of Science, and the Methods of Literature

Friday, April 24, 2009
Lecture Hall 8, 4:00 PM

Abstract

The seminar will focus on the development of Darwin’s ways of questioning nature, particularly on the pre-evolution Beagle Voyage, and attempt to distinguish between Darwin as subject of literary study and “Darwinism” as a method of literary study.

Biography

George Levine is emeritus at Rutgers, where he taught for over thirty years, primarily in Victorian literature and then in Darwin in relation to that literature. He began his post-doc working with the founders of the journal, Victorian Studies, and for 20 years at Rutgers he directed the interdisciplinary center, now called “Center for Cultural Analysis.” In recent years he has been focusing on Darwin, but also on questions of science’s relation to literature, and on secularism in Victorian literature. In 1988 he published Darwin and the Novelists, and in the last six years he has published Dying to Know: Scientific Epistemology and Narrative in Victorian England, Darwin Loves You: Natural Selection and the Re-enchantment of the World, How to Read the Victorian Novel, and Realism, Ethics, and Secularism: Essays on Victorian Literature and Science.

Readings

  1. Darwin Loves You: Natural Selection and the Re-enchantment of the World (Chapter 1)
  2. Frederick Crews’ Foreward from the Literary Side and Joseph Carroll’s Human Nature and Literary Meaning: A Theoretical Model Illustrated with a Critique of Pride and Prejudice from The Literary Animal
  3. Max Weber’s Science as a Vocation

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Seminar Audio

Download MP3 (59:45, 54MB)

Poster

LevinePoster