Reading expands our social imaginations and literary criticism can tell us why.
Since the beginning of my career I have worked extensively on issues concerning race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality, in the context of modern thought and literature. As such, I have been challenged (by students, colleagues, institutional mandates, and other pressures) to demonstrate how literary criticism might contribute to an understanding of these world-making social fictions. This question has been made all the more poignant, on the one hand, by the strides in the natural and social science literature on these issues, and on the other, by the perceived crisis in humanities writ large and the role of literary studies in particular in contemporary education.
Read more at the Stanford University Press Blog.