Professor Emeritus Ellen Spolsky

Professor Emeritus
Professor Emeritus Ellen Spolsky
Rank: 
Division: 
Phone: 
Fax: 

Fields of interest

Literary Theory

Cognitive literary and cultural history and criticism

Early modern English literature

Shakespeare

Art history, especially Renaissance

 

CV

Education

Midwood High School, Brooklyn N.Y.

Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

McGill University, Montreal,  BA, Honours in English 1964

Indiana University, Bloomington, 1964-68, MA English Literature 1967, PhD (Major in English, minor in Comparative Literature) 1969.

 

Employment

 

1964-68 Indiana University: Teaching assistant, English Department.

1968-80 The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque

1980-2010  Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel

                   Director, Lechter Institute of Literary Research, Bar-Ilan University,

                   1985- 2004

                    Director, Lewis Family Fund for International Conferences, Bar-Ilan

University, 1992-2004.

 

Editorial Board: Poetics Today, Duke University Press

 

Publications

Books

The Bounds of Interpretation: Linguistic Theory and Literary Text  Stanford, CA: Stanford University  Press, 1986. [With Ellen Schauber]

The Uses of Adversity: Failure and Accommodation in Reader Response  Lewisburg, London, and Toronto: Bucknell University Press, 1990. [Edited with an Introduction]

Gaps in Nature: Literary Interpretation and the Modular Mind. Albany: SUNY Press, 1993.

Summoning: Covenants in Law and Literature  [Edited with an Introduction]. Albany: SUNY Press, 1993.

The Judgment of Susanna: Authority and Witness  [Edited with  an Introduction]. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1996.

Satisfying Skepticism: Embodied Knowledge in the Early Modern World, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2001

The Work of Fiction: Cognition, Culture, and Complexity [Co-edited with Alan Richardson] Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004.

Iconotropism:  Turning Toward Pictures, [Edited with an Introduction]. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 2004.

Word vs. Image: Cognitive Hunger in Shakespeare's England, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.

 

Selected Articles and Chapters in Books

 

"Toward a Cognitively Responsible Theory of Inference: or, What Can Synapses Tell Us About Ambiguity?'' Theoretical Linguistics, 12 (1987), 2-3, 197-203.

"The Limits of Literal Meaning," New Literary History, 19.2 (1988), 419-40.

"Chaucer and Literary History," Hebrew University Studies in Literature and the Arts, 16 (1989), 51-67.

"The Literary Text and the Audience that Doesn't Understand." in The Uses of Adversity: Failure and Accommodation in Reader Response, Edited with an Introduction by Ellen Spolsky, Lewisburg, Bucknell University Press, 1993, pp.323-329.

"Doubting Thomas and the Senses of Knowing," Common Knowledge, 3,2 (1994), 111-129.

"Elaborated Knowledge: Reading Kinesis in Pictures," Poetics Today,17,2 (1996).

"Ordinary Dutch Landscape," Common Knowledge, 5,2 (Fall, 1996), 166-178.

"Law or the Garden: the Betrayal of Susanna in Pastoral Painting," in  The Judgment of Susanna: Authority and Witness, ed. Ellen Spolsky. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1996, pp.85-100.

 "L'iconotropisme, ou l'appétit de représentations: Raphaël et Titien," tle 17 (1999), 41-66.

"Darwin and Derrida: Cognitive Literary Theory as a Species of Post-Structuralism," Poetics Today, 23.1 (2002), 43-62. Reprinted in Introduction to Cognitive Cultural Studies, ed. Lisa Zunshine, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010: 292-310.

“Why and How to Take the Fruit and Leave the Chaff,” SubStance, 30,1-2 (2001): 177-198. Response from John Tooby and Leda Cosmides, and Response, 199-202.

“Women’s Work is Chastity: Lucretia, Cymbeline, and Cognitive Impenetrability,” in The Work of Fiction: Cognition, Culture, and Complexity, Eds. Alan Richardson and Ellen Spolsky, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004, pp. 50-81.

 "Introduction: Iconotropism: Turning Toward Pictures," in Iconotropism: Turning Toward Pictures, Ed. Ellen Spolsky, Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 2004, pp. 11-19.

"Iconotropism, or Representational Hunger: Raphael and Titian," in Iconotropism: Turning Toward Pictures, Ed. Ellen Spolsky, Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 2004, pp. 23-36.

"The Affordances of Images: Religious Imagery and Iconoclasm from a Cognitive Perspective," in Religious Cultures and Heterodoxy: Judaism and Christianity in the Early Modern Period, ed. Chanita Goodblatt and Howard Kreisel, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Press, 2007.

“Literacy after Iconoclasm in the English Reformation,” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 39, 2 (2009), 305-330.

 “Making ‘Quite Anew’: Brain Modularity and Creativity,” in Introduction to Cognitive Cultural Studies, ed. Lisa Zunshine, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010: 84-102.

“Narrative as Nourishment,” in Toward a Cognitive Theory of Narrative Acts, ed. Frederick Aldama, University of Texas Press, 2010: 37-60.

“An Embodied View of Misunderstanding in Macbeth,Poetics Today 32, 3 (Fall 2011), 489-520.

 

Review Articles and Book Reviews on cognitive literary subjects

“Toward a Theory of Embodiment for Literature,” review of Elaine Scarry, Dreaming by the Book, Poetics Today, 24, 1 (2003), 127-137.

“Recruiting (Once Again) Wittgenstein and Cavell for Reading Literary Texts,” review of Kenneth Dauber and Walter Jost, eds., Ordinary Language Criticism: Literary Thinking After Cavell after Wittgenstein, Poetics Today, 26, 1 (2005), 141-149.

“Frozen in Time? review of The Literary Animal: Evolution and the Nature of Narrative, Edited by Jonathan Gottschall and David Sloan Wilson, Poetics Today, 28, 4 (2007):807-816.

“How to Do Things with Novels,” review of Lisa Zunshine, Why We Read Fiction: Theory of Mind and the Novel, Twentieth-Century Literature 53, 3 (2007).

“Performance and Cognitive Literary Studies: Theory and Practice,” review of Performance and Cognition: Theatre Studies and the Cognitive Turn, edited by Bruce McConachie and F. Elizabeth Hart. Style 41,4 (2007), 442-448.

“The Centrality of the Exceptionality in Literary Study,” Style 42 1 & 2, (2008): 285-2009. Invited response to Joseph Carroll, “An Evolutionary Paradigm for Literary Study,” in the same volume.

Skepticism and Memory in Shakespeare and Donne, by Anita Gilman Sherman. (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). Reviewed in Renaissance Quarterly, 62, 3 (Fall, 2009),1035-36.

The Key of Green: Passion and Perception in Renaissance Culture, by Bruce R. Smith. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009). Reviewed in American Historical Review, February 2010. 174-175.

Shakespearean Neuroplay, by Amy Cook. (Palgrave, 2010). Reviewed in Shakespeare Quarterly, 63 (Winter 2012).

Knowing Shakespeare: Senses, Embodiment and Cognition, edited by Lowell Gallagher and Shankar Raman (Palgrave, 2010).  Reviewed in Shakespeare Quarterly, 63 (Winter 2012).

Why Lyrics Last: Evolution, Cognition, and Shakespeare’s Sonnets, by Brian Boyd. (Harvard University Press, 2012). Reviewed in Shakespeare Quarterly, 63 (Winter 2012).

 

 

 

Research

Literary Theory

Cognitive literary and cultural history and criticism

Early modern English literature

Shakespeare

Art history, especially Renaissance