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Suzanne Keen to give reading at Alkek Library

By Brett Fails
University News Service
September 28, 2009

Suzanne Keen
Suzanne Keen

Author Suzanne Keen, an English professor at Washington and Lee University, will speak on "Strategic Empathy and the Arts: The Novel-Reading Mind" and have a book signing at Texas State University-San Marcos on Monday, Oct. 5 at 4 p.m. on the 7th floor of Alkek Library.
Keen will make a presentation drawing on her interests in psychological approaches to the study of the arts in general and to literary narratives in particular. In articles and her recent book, Empathy and the Novel, Keen takes into account the results of medical and psychological studies completed in the past decade that show the human brain responds viscerally to the experiences of others, whether observed directly or suggested indirectly.
Keen shows that these findings have important implications for the physiological foundation of experience of the arts and specifically for the ways readers of literary narratives, such as novels, are altered by the experience of reading, contributing to the building of basic human senses of mutuality and community.
Times Literary Supplement described Keen's most recent book as “Well illustrated... It is an extremely stimulating, clearly written and accessible work which will be of interest to scholars of literature, psychology and neuroscience alike.”
The event is sponsored by the University Lecture Series, the College of Liberal Arts, the Department of English and the Common Experience. For more information contact Dan Lochman at