Austin delivers final Crick Lecture of the year

Posted: Monday, April 10, 2017

University of Evansville executive vice president for academic affairs Michael Austin will deliver the University’s final Crick Lecture of the 2016-17 school year. His topic will be “A Certain Convocation of Politic Worms: Literature and the Fear of Being Eaten.” The lecture will be April 12 at 4:00 p.m., in Room 100 in the Koch Center for Engineering and Science.

All Crick Lectures are free and open to the public and aimed at a general audience. The series is jointly sponsored by the Cognitive Science and Neuroscience programs.

In this presentation, Austin will draw on his book Useful Fictions: Evolution, Anxiety, and the Origins of Literature to try to answer the question "why does a species whose survival depends on the ability to collect and use accurate information have a universal predilection for fictional narratives?"

The answer takes us far back into humanity’s evolutionary past and deep into a cognitive structure that evolved to help organisms compete for resources in an environment full of dangerous predators and perilous situations.

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