Literary Studies and Human Flourishing

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Literary Studies and Human Flourishing by English, James F.; Love, Heather, 9780197637227
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  • ISBN: 9780197637227 | 0197637221
  • Cover: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 1/20/2023

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The Humanities and Human Flourishing series publishes edited volumes that explore the role of human flourishing in the central disciplines of the humanities, and whether and how the humanities can increase human happiness.

The contributors to this volume of essays investigate the question: what do literary scholars contribute to social scientific research on human happiness and flourishing?

Of all humanities disciplines, none is more resistant to the program of positive psychology or the prevailing discourse of human flourishing than literary studies. The approach taken in this volume of essays is neither to gloss over that antagonism nor to launch a series of blasts against positive psychology and the happiness industry. Rather, the contributors reflect on how their literary research--work to which they are personally committed--might become part of an interdisciplinary conversation about human flourishing.

The contributors' areas of research are wide ranging, covering literary aesthetics, book history, digital humanities, and reader reception, as well as the important "inter-disciplines" of gender and sexuality studies, disability studies, and black studies-fields in which issues of stigma and exclusion are paramount, and which have critiqued the discourse of human flourishing for its failure to grapple with structural inequality and human difference. Literary scholars are drawn more readily to the problematic than to the decidable, but by dwelling on the trouble spots in a field of inquiry still largely confined to the sciences, Literary Studies and Human Flourishing provides the groundwork for new and more productive forms of interdisciplinary collaboration and exchange.
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