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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 is recipient of both the Chancellor's and President's Award for Research and Creativity. He teaches British literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, literary theory, psychology and literature, short stories in world literature, and literature adapted to film. He regularly teaches interdisciplinary seminars in the Honors College. His research integrates literary theory and criticism with the evolutionary human sciences and with cognitive and affective psychology. 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 coedited volume of essays, Darwin’s Bridge: Uniting the Sciences and Humanities, originated from that conference. Another coedited volume of essay, Evolutionary Perspectives on Imaginative Culture, is forthcoming (2020). Carroll is editor in chief of the journal Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture.

Curriculum vitae

For access to his articles, filmed interviews, and filmed lectures, see his page on Academia.edu or his page on ResearchGate.

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.

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

“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.

“A Cross-Disciplinary Survey of Beliefs about Human Nature, Culture, and Science,” by Joseph Carroll, John Johnson, Catherine Salmon, Jens Kjeldgaard-Christiansen, Mathias Clasen, and Emelie Jonsson, Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture 1. 1 (2017): 1-32

“Minds and Meaning in Fictional Narratives: An Evolutionary Perspective,” Review of General Psychology, published online first April 2017.

“Evolutionary Literary Theory,” in A Companion to Literary Theory, edited by David Richter (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2019): 425-38.

“Death in Literature,” in Evolutionary Perspectives on Death, edited by Todd Shackelford and Virgil Ziegler (New York: Springer, 2019): 137-59.

“Imagination, the Brain’s Default Mode Network, and Imaginative Verbal Artifacts,” in Evolutionary Perspectives on Imaginative Culture, edited by Joseph Carroll, Mathias Clasen, and Emelie Jonsson (New York: Springer), forthcoming.