Literature and Science

Notre Dame's support for interdisciplinary work at all levels, including an affiliation with the History and Philosophy of Science Program, makes the English Department an incubator for innovative approaches to literature and science. Particular strengths include transnational studies, media studies, literary materialism, digital humanities, and ecocriticism. Notre Dame is proud to be the site for the upcoming Conference of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts, to be held October 3-6, 2013.

Laura Dassow Walls

William P. and Hazel B. White Professor of English

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Research includes:

  • materialism and transcendence
  • human/animal boundaries
  • conceptual shifts in literature and science
  • scientific language in literature, literary language in science
  • literature and natural science in 19th-century America, especially Thoreau, Emerson, Melville, and Poe, along with Alexander von Humboldt, Charles Darwin, and Louis Agassiz.

Most recent book: The Passage to Cosmos: Alexander von Humboldt and the Shaping of America (winner of the Modern Language Association’s James Russell Lowell Prize, the Organization of American Historians’ Merle Curti Award for the best book in American intellectual history, and the Michelle Kendrick Memorial Book Prize from the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts)

Click here for more information.

Kate Marshall

Associate Professor of English

Kate Marshall

Research includes:

  • technology and the novel
  • human and posthuman narration
  • literary materialisms

Forthcoming book: Corridor: Media Architectures in American Fiction (University of Minnesota Press)

Click here for more information.

Christopher Fox

Professor of English and Director of the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies

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Research includes:

  • literature and science
  • eighteenth-century studies 
  • Irish studies

Publications include: Inventing Human Science: Eighteenth Century Domains; Psychology and Literature in the Eighteenth Century

Click here for more information.

John Sitter

Mary Lee Duda Professor of Literature

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Research includes:

  • ecological criticism
  • sustainability studies
  • eighteenth-century studies
  • ecological consciousness in English and American poetry
  • relations of ecological and poetic theory

Most recent book: Cambridge Introduction to Eighteenth-Century Poetry

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Yasmin Solomonescu

Assistant Professor of English

Yasmin Solomonescu

Research includes:

  • literature and science
  • Romantic-era materialism
  • Romantic-era literature and politics

Recently completed book: John Thelwall and the Materialist Imagination

Click here for more information.

Matthew Wilkens

Assistant Professor of English

Matt Wilkens faculty photo

Research includes:

  • contemporary American fiction, digital and computational literary studies
  • allegory, event, and encyclopedism in the 1950s and '60s
  • new techniques of computational and quantitative cultural analysis, including literary text mining, geolocation extraction, and network analysis
  • mapping the literary landscape of the American nineteenth century

Recently completed book: Revolution: The Event in Modern Fiction

Click here for more information. See his blog at mattwilkens.com.