Lisa Zunshine

Lisa Zunshine
University of Kentucky | UKY · Department of English

Doctor of Philosophy

About

43
Publications
13,400
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
990
Citations

Publications

Publications (43)
Book
Full-text available
An innovative account that brings together cognitive science, ethnography, and literary history to examine patterns of “mindreading” in a wide range of literary works. (This full text has been made available by the MIT Open Access program; for a hard copy go to: https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Life-Literature-Lisa-Zunshine/dp/0262046334)
Article
Full-text available
Article
Full-text available
This article suggests that comparative literature scholars may benefit from the awareness that different communities around the world subscribe to different models of mind and that works of fiction can thus be fruitfully analyzed in relation to those local ideologies of mind. Taking as her starting point the “opacity of mind” doctrine, found in the...
Article
There is a growing sense among scholars working in cognitive literary studies that their assumptions and methodologies increasingly align them with another paradigmatically interdisciplinary field: comparative literature. This introduction to the special issue on cognitive approaches to comparative literature explores points of alignment between th...
Chapter
Full-text available
What does it mean for one fictional character to be more complex than another? One way to define complexity is to look at characters’ ability to reflect upon their own and other people’s mental states, that is, their ability to embed their own and other’s thoughts and feelings on a higher level. Taking as its starting point studies which have shown...
Article
This essay investigates the phenomenon of “embedded” mental states in fiction (i.e., a mental state within a mental state within yet another mental state, as in, “Mrs. Banks wished that Mary Poppins wouldn’t know so very much more about the best people than she knew herself”), asking if patterns of embedment manifest themselves differently in child...
Article
Full-text available
This essay brings together cognitive literary theory and Mikhail Bakhtin's theory of dialogic imagination to illuminate the construction of social class in the eighteenth-century novel. It offers a close reading of selected passages from Frances Burney's Evelina (1778), made possible by combining Bakhtinian and cognitive poetics. It also discusses...
Article
Full-text available
Previous work (Whalen, Zunshine, & Holquist, 2012) has shown that perspective embedding (“she thought I left” embedding her perspective on “I left”) affects reading times for short vignettes. With increasing levels of embedment 1–5, reading times rose almost linearly. Level 0 was as slow as 3–4. Embedment level was determined by the authors, but va...
Data
Full-text available
Article
Full-text available
Article
Full-text available
Reading fiction is a major component of intellectual life, yet it has proven difficult to study experimentally. One aspect of literature that has recently come to light is perspective embedding (“she thought I left” embedding her perspective on “I left”), which seems to be a defining feature of fiction. Previous work (Whalen et al., 2012) has shown...
Article
Full-text available
A troubling feature of the common core state standards initiative (CCSSI) for english language arts (ELA) is its failure to recognize literature as a catalyst of complex thinking in students. According to the CCSSI, to “prepare all students for success in college, career, and life,” children must read texts “more complex” than “stories and literatu...
Article
Full-text available
This conversation began at MLA in 2012 when we recognized that cognitive approaches to literature and disability studies, two rapidly and independently developing fields, must start talking to one another. The subject is autism: how it has been divergently understood and deployed and how it can be convergently understood and deployed. Kept apart, t...
Article
Full-text available
Zunshine demonstrates how a cognitive narratological perspective on theory of mind (i.e., our evolved cognitive capacity to see people’s observable behavior in terms of their underlying mental states, such as thoughts, feelings, desires, and intentions) offers an instructor a new tool for collaborative classroom exploration of representations of fi...
Article
Full-text available
Theory of Mind (ToM) has been proposed to explain social interactions, with real people but also with fictional characters, by interpreting their mind as well as our own. "Perspective embedding" exploits ToM by placing events in characters' minds (e.g., "he remembered she was home"). Three levels of embedment, common in literature, may be a "sweet...
Book
Full-text available
Why We Read Fiction offers a lucid overview of the most exciting area of research in contemporary cognitive psychology known as "Theory of Mind" and discusses its implications for literary studies. It covers a broad range of fictional narratives, from Richardson’s Clarissa, Dostoyevski’s Crime and Punishment, and Austen’s Pride and Prejudice to Woo...
Chapter
Full-text available
What we call the interiority of a fictional character is a cognitive-historical construct. That is, it emerges out of the interaction between our theory of mind – our evolved cognitive adaptation for explaining people’s behavior in terms of their mental states, such as thoughts, desires, feelings, and intentions – and historically contingent ways o...
Article
Full-text available
We live in other people's heads: avidly, reluctantly, consciously, unaware, mistakenly, and inescapably. Our social life is a constant negotiation among what we think we know about each other's thoughts and feelings, what we want each other to think we know, and what we would dearly love to know but don't. Cognitive scientists have a special term f...
Article
Full-text available
Article
We live in other people's heads: avidly, reluctantly, consciously, unawares, gropingly, inescapably. A stranger sitting across the table at the library turns away from her laptop screen, extends her forearm, and begins to move her eyes from the tip of her index finger to her nose and back. It's a kind of eye calisthenics; she obviously wants to kee...
Article
Full-text available
A peculiar sideline scenario plays itself out obsessively in one eighteenth-century novel after another: A protagonist responds to a n appa rent ly impover ished stranger's plea for assistance while being closely watched by an interested observer, such as a secret admirer, a parent, or a friend. For example, Laurence Sterne's A Sentimental Journey...
Chapter
It is warm outside. Spring blossoms brush against the house. Leaning over the windowsill, propping his right hand with his left, a young man is blowing bubbles. Just now a particularly large bubble is trembling at the tip of his blowpipe.1 The man is holding his breath. The world is standing still. The Soap Bubble is one of Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Cha...
Article
Full-text available
This volume brings together fourteen essays representing the rapidly growing interdisciplinary fi eld of cognitive approaches to literature and culture. Refl ecting the explosion of academic and public interest in cognitive science in the last two decades, it features work that combines literary and cultural analysis with insights from neuroscience...
Article
Full-text available
Drawing on the explosion of academic and public interest in cognitive science in the past two decades, this volume features articles that combine literary and cultural analysis with insights from neuroscience, cognitive evolutionary psychology and anthropology, and cognitive linguistics. Lisa Zunshine's introduction provides a broad overview of the...
Chapter
"Creating an interaction" between cognitive psychology and literary criticism, writes Andrew Elfenbein, "requires constant, often skeptical translation across disciplinary boundaries" (484). Such translation becomes particularly challenging when one tries to negotiate between subfi elds within these disciplines, whose grounding assumptions are expe...
Article
Full-text available
It's another day at The Office—a British mock documentary about the "boss from hell," David Brent, regional manager of a fictitious paper company. David (played by Ricky Gervais) is about to interview two candidates for the position of secretary, and he has just put his receptionist, Dawn Tinsley (Lucy Davis), in an embarrassing situation, flauntin...
Article
Full-text available
Something happened to the novel "around the time of Jane Austen" (vii) argues George Butte in his compelling reintroduction of Maurice Merleau-Ponty's discourse on phenomenology into contemporary literary and film studies, I Know That You Know That I Know: Narrating Subjects from Moll Flanders to Marnie. English writers began to portray a multiply-...
Article
Brian Boyd's review of my new book, Why We Read Fiction: Theory of Mind and the Novel (Ohio State University Press, 2006) engages a large variety of issues. I would like to address an important question about the integration of scientific methodology with literary analysis suggested by Boyd's discussion. As I argue below, two different perspectives...
Article
Full-text available
Eighteenth-Century Life 29.1 (2005) 1-22 Established in 1739 as a shelter for illegitimate children of the poor otherwise liable to be murdered by their parents or abandoned in the streets to certain death, the London Foundling Hospital loomed large in eighteenth-century cultural imagination. It embodied both the noblest philanthropic aspirations o...
Book
Full-text available
In this compelling interdisciplinary study of what has been called the "century of illegitimacy," Lisa Zunshine seeks to uncover the multiplicity of cultural meanings of illegitimacy in the English Enlightenment. Bastards and Foundlings pits the official legal views on illegitimacy against the actual everyday practices that frequently circumvented...
Article
Full-text available
Let me begin with a seemingly nonsensical question.1 When Peter Walsh unexpectedly comes to see Clarissa Dalloway "at eleven o'clock on the morning of the day she [is] giving a party" and, "positively trembling," asks her how she is, "taking both her hands," "kissing both her hands," thinking that "she's grown older," and deciding that he "shan't t...
Article
Full-text available
In this article I explore the possibility of a dialogue between cultural studies and cognitive science by proposing a “cognitive” reading of Anna Laetitia Barbauld's 1781 book Hymns in Prose for Children . Literary critics have pointed out that the tacitly catechistic mode of Barbauld's Hymns implicates it in the eighteenth-century ideological proj...
Article
Philosophy and Literature 25.2 (2001) 215-232 As a session entitled "Truth" at a recent Modern Language Association of America annual convention has demonstrated, the obsession with the epistemologies of truth is alive and well. Our "familiar ways of thinking and talking about truth," as one of the speakers, Barbara Herrnstein Smith, observed, rema...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Project (1)