Faculty Book: Jason Tougaw

Jason Tougaw
The Elusive Brain: Literary Experiments in the Age of Neuroscience
(Yale University Press, 2018)

cover of "The Elusive Brain" by Jason TougawFeaturing a foreword by renowned neuroscientist Joseph E. LeDoux, The Elusive Brain is an illuminating, comprehensive survey of contemporary literature’s engagement with neuroscience. This fascinating book explores how literature interacts with neuroscience to provide a better understanding of the brain’s relationship to the self.

Jason Tougaw surveys the work of contemporary writers—including Oliver Sacks, Temple Grandin, Richard Powers, Siri Hustvedt, and Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay—analyzing the way they experiment with literary forms to frame new views of the immaterial experiences that compose a self. He argues that their work offers a necessary counterbalance to a wider cultural neuromania that seeks out purely neural explanations for human behaviors as varied as reading, economics, empathy, and racism. Building on recent scholarship, Tougaw’s evenhanded account will be an original contribution to the growing field of neuroscience and literature.

Tougaw is an associate professor of English at Queens College and of Liberal Studies at The Graduate Center.

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Submitted on: OCT 9, 2018

Category: Faculty Books | Liberal Studies