Abstract

By definition, the application of scientific theory and research to the teaching of literature mandates an interdisciplinary curriculum. In turn, the implementation of a biology-based literary curriculum requires several momentous decisions: which scientific principles are to be taught as the foundations of evolutionary literary study, which scientific texts are best suited to the teaching of these principles, and how is the teaching of scientific texts to be integrated with the teaching of literary texts? These questions must be addressed before evolutionary literary study can move from a theoretical approach confined to the pages of a few academic journals to an applied, discipline-wide approach taught in college classrooms everywhere. In this article, I describe a course I developed at the University of Oregon that provides an answer to these questions and, in so doing, lays a possible foundation for the design of a biology-based literary program.

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