When Darwin Meets Dickens

Nick Gillespie in TCS Daily:

DickensdarwinderridawebOne of the subtexts of this year’s Modern Language Association conference — and, truth be told, of most contemporary discussions of literary and cultural studies — is the sense that lit-crit is in a prolonged lull. There’s no question that a huge amount of interesting work is being done — scholars of 17th-century British and Colonial American literature, for instance, are bringing to light all sorts of manuscripts and movements that are quietly revising our understanding of liberal political theory and gender roles — and that certain fields — postcolonial studies, say, and composition and rhetoric — are hotter than others. But it’s been years — decades even — since a major new way of thinking about literature has really taken the academic world by storm.

More here.