1st Edition

The Rise of the Australian Neurohumanities Conversations Between Neurocognitive Research and Australian Literature

Edited By Jean-François Vernay Copyright 2021
    142 Pages
    by Routledge

    142 Pages
    by Routledge

    This exciting one-of-a-kind volume brings together new contributions by geographically diverse authors who range from early career researchers to well-established scholars in the field.

    It unprecedentedly showcases a wide variety of the latest research at the intersection of Australian literary studies and cognitive literary studies in a single volume.

    It takes Australian fiction on the leading edge by paving the way for a new direction in Australian literary criticism.

    Foreword by Paula Leverage

    Preface by Jean-François Vernay

    1 Cognitive Australian Literary Studies and the Creation of New Heuristic Constellations

    Jean-François Vernay

    2 Narrative Empathy in Contemporary Australian Multiperspectival Novels: Cognitive Readings of Christos Tsiolkas’s The Slap and Gail Jones’s Five Bells

    Lukas Klik

    3 Contemplating Affects: The Mystery of Emotion in Charlotte Wood’s The Weekend

    Victoria Reeve

    4 Affective Narratology, Cultural Memory, and Aboriginal Culture in Kim Scott’s Taboo

    Francesca Di Blasio

    5 Finding Voice: Cognition, Cate Kennedy’s "Cold Snap", and the Australian Bush Tradition

    Lisa Smithies

    6 On Waiting upon: Speculations by an Australian Novelist on the Experience of Writing a Commissioned Novel

    Sue Woolfe

    7 Performing a Neuro Lit Crit Analysis of Specky Magee in the Context of Obesity Bibliotherapy: Persuading Readers to Commit to Exercise

    Rocío Riestra-Camacho

    8 Feeling the Land: Embodied Relations in Contemporary Aboriginal Fiction

    Dorothee Klein


    Jean-François Vernay is the author of Water from the Moon: Illusion and Reality in the Works of Australian Novelist Christopher Koch (2007), A Brief Take on the Australian Novel (2016), The Seduction of Fiction (2016), and La séduction de la fiction (2019).



    "One of the fastest developing areas of science lies in discoveries about the human brain, about which we knew almost nothing only a few decades ago. Now the implications of that knowledge are spreading into other disciplines. The Rise of the Australian Neurohumanities: Conversations Between Neurocognitive Research and Australian Literature is the first edited volume to explore the implications of this study for the reading and writing of Australian literature. Bridging neuroscience and the humanities, this diverse collection of essays adds to our understanding of issues such as empathy, voice, narrative persuasion, and the relation between our brains and body when enjoying aesthetic experiences. It provides a new direction in Australian literary and cultural studies."

    Dennis Haskell, AM, The University of Western Australia.


    "Bringing together cognitive literary studies and Australian literary studies in a sustained and detailed way, this collection skilfully draws on a wide range of recent empirical and theoretical work on cognition, neuroscience, emotion, and sociality to address central issues and themes in Australian literary studies, among them the bearing of settler and indigenous discourse, experience, and histories on one another, the challenges of reconfiguring national identity in multi-ethnic, multi-cultural directions, the place of the wilderness and interactions with the environment in imaginative, affective life and ideological constructs, and the positioning of contemporary fiction in relation to a colonizing past and a globalized, post-national future."

    Donald R. Wehrs, Hargis Professor of English Literature, Auburn University, USA


    "Jean-François Vernay has put together a dynamic and convincing collection that shows how Australian literature can speak to contemporary concerns while engaging theories that try to bridge the gap between the humanities and the sciences. This book is also an encouraging portent that there is still a place for this sort of edited collection in Australian literary study. In a tough time for the field, it is encouraging to hear these vibrant and engaged voices."

    Nicholas Birns, Journal of Australian Studies