Alan Richardson

Professor of English, Boston College

Alan Richardson is Professor of English at Boston College. He holds degrees in English from Princeton University and Harvard University. A Romanticist by training, he has published extensively on the literature and culture of the British Romantic era, especially in relation to issues of gender, childhood and education, race and colonialism, and scientific psychology. Over the past fifteen years, he has devoted his research efforts to exploring intersections between literary studies and the sciences of mind and brain. His books include Literature, Education, and Romanticism: Reading as Social Practice (1994), British Romanticism and the Science of the Mind (2001) and The Neural Sublime: Cognitive Theories and Romantic Texts (2011). In addition to editing several books in the area of Romanticism, slavery, and imperial culture, he is co-editor, with Francis Steen, of a special issue of Poetics Today on “Literature and the Cognitive Revolution” (2002) and, with Ellen Spolsky, of The Work of Fiction: Cognition, Culture, and Complexity (2004). He has also published some fifty articles in journals and essays in book collections. Major honors and awards include a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Keats-Shelley Association Distinguished Scholar Award, the American Conference on Romanticism book prize (for Literature, Education, and Romanticism), and the Alpha Sigma Nu National Jesuit Book Award (for The Neural Sublime). His current research concerns literary and scientific conceptions of imagination from the Romantic era to the present.

Participant In:

The Sublime Experience

Saturday, February 7, 2015
2:30-4:30 pm

Past Event

Prior to the eighteenth century, and before Edmund Burke’s foundational treatise, the sublime was understood as beauty and greatness beyond measure. Subsequently, awe, the emotion classically associated with the sublime, was given new psychological depth and even physiological dimensions, bringing fear and the grotesque into aesthetic considerations of the sublime. In Kantian aesthetics, the sublime… read more »