On Thursday, we began our new topic for the next two weeks, which is the subject of literary evolutionism. Seeing as how this segment of the course investigates the reach of Darwin’s ideas into the Humanities, it’s only fitting that we explore this growing group of academics who are interested in how literature reflects Darwin’s … More WHY DO WE LOVE STORY? (Part I.)
We are nearing the end of the semester, but I asked the class to re-visit, in their minds, the summer before they were freshmen at EIU. As a new student, they filled out countless forms, paper and electronic, that pertain to this school: the Panther card, the parking permit, the online access to D2L. Other … More Why Do We Love Story? (Part II.)
In Thursday’s class, we looked at two texts—Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Frankenstein and Erasmus Darwin’s poetry. The intent was to examine the intersections between biology and literature. The representation of science in poetry or science in literature is a fascinating subject—and one that I play with. But in the 1800s, before the sciences became so specialized, … More The Connections between Frankenstein, Darwin, and Pasta
For those of us in the Humanities, anything that smells like a belief in “truth” is suspicious. What is “truth?” Who decides that? Isn’t all “truth” just a construction? Well, let’s pause from these questions common in the Humanities and ask: what does “fact,” “law” and “theory” mean from a biological perspective? This little word … More Oh, That’s Just a Theory
For the first two weeks, Dr. Fritz is talking about what exactly is natural selection and artificial selection. This is what Darwin painstakingly described in On the Origin of Species. And he did so very carefully, avoiding references to humans for the most part. So, no talk about us coming from apes in this book. … More Darwin Did Not Work Alone
I approached Dr. Gary Fritz about creating this class last fall, right when I came to EIU. But why? I’m a poet. I basically write about my window: what’s outside it—and what’s beside it, which is my own head. Sometimes, though, I can acutely feel the limits of what I don’t know. Five years ago, … More Why Do I Care?
FIRST DAY OF CLASS. Aug. 26, 2014 Many of my poems include science, either through the use of a single detail or as part of their larger themes. This fall, I will be co-teaching Biological Evolution in the Humanities with biology professor, Dr. Gary Fritz, at Eastern Illinois University. Throughout the semester, I’ll post what … More First Day of Class