2011 Bhussry Lecture: Brian Boyd, "The Story Mind." March 30, 4:00 PM, Research Bldg. Auditorium

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This year’s Bhussry speaker is Brian Boyd, who is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He is renown internationally as the foremost specialist in the life and works of Vladimir Nabokov, who wrote such classic novels such as “Lolita”, “Pale Fire”, “Ada”, “The Gift”, “Invitation to a Beheading”, and “The Luzhin Defense”. The topic of his lecture is based on his recent book, “On the Origins of Stories: Evolution, Cognition, and Fiction.” As the title implies, it applies the principles of evolutionary biology and cognitive neuroscience to analyze our affinity for stories, both as storytellers and as the readers or listeners of stories. He examines our ability to tell and understand stories as adaptation, one that promoted social collaboration and increased fitness. This theory provides not only an important perspective to the analysis of literature, movies, and art in general but also important implications to understanding the evolution of the human brain and related topics such as the development of language and the underlying mechanisms for how we interact socially, how we collaborate at work, and how we learn.

Posted March 22, 2011 (modified April 13, 2011) by Hiroshi Nakai.