Collations: Book Forum on Benjamin Morgan’s The Outward Mind: Materialist Aesthetics in Victorian Science and Literature
The V21 Collective’s Collations: Book Forum welcomes Elisha Cohn (Cornell University), Kate Flint (University of Southern California) and Travis Lau (UPenn) in discussing Benjamin Morgan’s The Outward Mind: Materialist Aesthetics in Victorian Science and Literature (Chicago, 2017). Morgan’s exciting, interdisciplinary new work explores Victorian aesthetic thought, situating it “at the intersection of multiple discourses and practices, including art history, the novel, interior design, physiology, and evolutionary biology” (5). Morgan challenges narrower understandings of aesthetics as the province of philosophy, revealing its additional materialist, empiricist, and positivist dimensions in the works of Victorian thinkers, artists, novelists, poets, and scientists. Our discussants have begun a conversation here that draws inspiration from the wide-ranging scope of Morgan’s work to contemplate the implications of it for our work as writers, teachers, and thinkers of all kinds – as well as intertwined bodies, hearts, and minds – demonstrating what it might mean to bring the Victorian past he retrieves ever more fully into the present.
Since Collations is designed to be something quite distinct from a standard book review, we hope that our readers will help us keep its dynamic interchange going in the comments section, sharing thoughts, experiences, and questions of their own.
|Reflection by Elisha Cohn||Reflection by Kate Flint||Reflection by Travis Lau|
Maeve Adams, editor, V21 Collations: Book Forum