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Joseph Carroll

Curators' Professor of English
456 Lucas Hall

PhD, Comparative Literature, University of California, Berkeley
MA, Comparative Literature, University of California, Berkeley
BA, English, University of California, Berkeley

Joseph Carroll, recipient of both the Chancellor's and President's Award for Research and Creativity, teaches Nineteenth-Century British Literature, Literary Theory, Short Stories, and interdisciplinary seminars in the Honors College. He is the author of The Cultural Theory of Matthew Arnold; Wallace Stevens' Supreme Fiction; Evolution and Literary Theory; Literary Darwinism; Reading Human Nature; and Graphing Jane Austen (co-authored). He has produced an edition of Darwin's On the Origin of Species and is co-editor of Evolution, Literature, and Film: A Reader. In 2012, he helped organize an international conference at UMSL. A co-edited volume of essays from that conference, Darwin’s Bridge: Uniting the Sciences and Humanities, is forthcoming in 2016.

For access to his articles, filmed interviews, and filmed lectures, see his home page: or his page on

Selected Publications

"Aestheticism, Homoeroticism, and Christian Guilt in The Picture of Dorian Gray: A Darwinian Critique," Philosophy and Literature 29 (2005): 286-304.

"An Evolutionary Paradigm for Literary Study," (target article to which scholars and scientists were invited to respond), Style 42 (2008): 103-35.

"Rejoinder" (reply to 35 scholars writing commentaries on the target article identified in the previous item), Style 42 (2008): 309-412.

"The Cuckoo's History: Human Nature in Wuthering Heights," Philosophy and Literature 32 (2008): 241-57.

"Human Nature in Nineteenth-Century British Novels: Doing the Math," by Joseph Carroll, Jon Gottschall, John Johnson, and Daniel Kruger, Philosophy and Literature, 33 (2009): 50-72.

“Three Scenarios for Literary Darwinism,” New Literary History 41.1 (2010): 53-67.

“The Truth about Fiction: Biological Reality and Imaginary Lives,” Style 46.2 (2012): 129-60.

“Violence in Literature: An Evolutionary Perspective,” in Evolution of Violence, edited by Todd K. Shackelford and Ranald D. Hansen (New York: Springer, 2013) 33-52.

“An Evolutionary Approach to Shakespeare’s King Lear,” in Critical Insights: Family, edited by John Knapp (Ipswich, MA: EBSCO, 2013): 83-103.

“Evolved Human Sociality and Literature,” in Handbook on Evolution and Society: Toward an Evolutionary Social Science, edited by Jonathan H. Turner, Richard Machalek, and Alexandra Maryanski (Boulder, CO: Paradigm, 2015): 572-608.