Lisa Zunshine

Research Interests:
Office Hours (Fall 2016): WF 10-10:50 am and by appointment

Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara, 2000


Lisa Zunshine is Bush-Holbrook Professor of English at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, where she teaches courses in Restoration and eighteenth-century British literature and culture. She is a former Guggenheim fellow (2007) and the author or editor of eleven books, including Bastards and Foundlings: Illegitimacy in Eighteenth-Century England (2005), Why We Read Fiction: Theory of Mind and the Novel (2006), Approaches to Teaching the Novels of Samuel Richardson (co-edited with Jocelyn Harris, 2006), Strange Concepts and the Stories They Make Possible: Cognition, Culture, Narrative (2008), Acting Theory and the English Stage (2009),  Introduction to Cognitive Cultural Studies (ed., 2010), Approaches to Teaching the Works of John Dryden (co-edited with Jayne Lewis, 2013), Getting Inside Your Head: What Cognitive Science Can Tell Us about Popular Culture (2012) and The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Literary Studies (2015).

  • Restoration and 18th-Century British Literature
  • Cognitive Cultural Studies
  • 紅樓夢


  • Why We Read Fiction: Theory of Mind and the Novel now available on iPad (and iPhone) and Kindle for $1.99


Selected Publications: 





"The Secret Life of Fiction." PMLA 130.3 (May 2015): 724-731 (pdf)

"Theory of Mind as a Pedagogical Tool." Interdisciplinary Literary Studies 16.1 (2014): 89-109 (pdf)

Co-authored with Ralph James Savarese: “The Critic as Neurocosmopolite; Or, What Cognitive Approaches to Literature Can Learn from Disability Studies: Lisa Zunshine in Conversation with Ralph James Savarese.” Narrative 22.1 (January 2014): 17-44 (pdf)

"From the Social to the Literary: Approaching Cao Xueqin's The Story of the Stone (紅樓夢) from a Cognitive Perspective." In The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Approaches to Literature. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015. 176-196. (draft pdf)

"Introduction to Cognitive Literary Studies." In The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Literary Studies. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015. 1-9 (pdf)

"Sociocognitive Complexity." NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction 45.1 (2012): 13-18 (pdf)

“What to Expect When You Pick Up a Graphic Novel.” SubStance: special issue on graphic narratives. Ed. Jared Gardner and David Herman, # 124, 40.1 (2011): 114-134 (pdf)

“Style Brings In Mental States.” Style 45.2 (2011): 349-356 (pdf)

“Cognitive Alternatives to Interiority.” Cambridge History of the English Novel. Ed. Robert L. Caserio and Clement C. Hawes. Cambridge University Press, 2011. 147-162 (pdf)

“Mind Plus: Sociocognitive Pleasures of Jane Austen's Novels.Studies in Literary Imagination 42.2 (Fall 2009): 89-109 (pdf)

 “1700-1775: Theory of Mind, Social Hierarchy, and the Emergence of Narrative Subjectivity.” The Emergence of Mind: Representations of Consciousness in Narrative Discourse in English. Ed. David Herman. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2011. 161-186 (pdf)

 “Theory of Mind and Fictions of Embodied Transparency.” Narrative 16.1 (2008): 65-92 (pdf)

 “Theory of Mind and Michael Fried’s Absorption and Theatricality: Notes Toward Cognitive Historicism.” Toward a Theory of Narrative Acts. Ed. Frederick Aldama. University of Texas Press, 2010. 179-203 (pdf)

“Lying Bodies of the Enlightenment: Theory of Mind and Cultural Historicism.” Introduction to Cognitive Cultural Studies. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010. 115-133 (pdf)

“What is Cognitive Cultural Studies?”Introduction to Cognitive Cultural Studies. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010 1-33 (pdf)

 “Why Jane Austen Was Different, And Why We May Need Cognitive Science to See It.” Style 41.3 (2007): 273-297 (pdf)
           Reprinted inREALYearbook of Research in English and American Literature24 (2008):141-61

 “Caught Unawares by a Benefactor: Embodying the Deserving Object of Charity in the Eighteenth-Century Novel.” The Eighteenth-Century Novel 5 (2006): 37-65 (pdf)

 “Essentialism and Comedy: A Cognitive Reading of the Motif of Mislaid Identity in Dryden’s Amphitryon (1690),” Performance and Cognition: Theatre in the Age of New Cognitive Studies. Ed. Bruce McConachie and F. Elizabeth Hart. Routledge, 2006. 97-121

“Introduction.” Philanthropy and Fiction, 1698-1818. London: Pickering and Chatto, 2006. vii-xxi (pdf)

“Can We Teach the ‘Deep Intersubjectivity’ of Richardson’s Clarissa?” New Windows on a Woman's World: A Festschrift for Jocelyn Harris. Otago Studies in English, 9. Dunedin, New Zealand: University of Otago, 2005. 88-99 (pdf)

“The Spectral Hospital: Philanthropy and the Eighteenth-Century Novel.” Eighteenth-Century Life, 29.1 (2005), 1-22 (pdf)

 “Teaching Sir Charles Grandison to Undergraduates instead of Pamela,” Approaches to Teaching the Novels of Samuel Richardson. Ed. Zunshine and Harris. New York: Modern Language Association, 2005. 184-190 (pdf)

“Introduction” and “Materials,” Approaches to Teaching the Novels of Samuel Richardson. Ed. Zunshine and Harris. New York: Modern Language Association, 2005. xi-xiii, 3-23 (pdf)

 “Bastard Daughters and Foundling Heroines: Rewriting Illegitimacy for the Eighteenth-Century Stage,” Modern Philology 102.4 (2005): 501-533 (pdf)

 “Richardson’s Clarissa and a Theory of Mind,” The Work of Fiction: Cognition, Culture, and Complexity. Ed. Alan Richardson and Ellen Spolsky. Ashgate Press, 2004. 127-146

“Theory of Mind and Experimental Representations of Fictional Consciousness,” Narrative 11.3 (2003): 270-291 (pdf)
           Reprinted in The Critical Tradition: Classic Texts and Contemporary Trends. Ed. David H. Richter, Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2006
           Translated into Russian and reprinted in Dialogue so Vremenem: Almanac of Intellectual History. Moscow: KomKniga. 15 (2005): 263-292

“Vladimir Nabokov and the Scriblerians,” Nabokov at Cornell. Ed. Gavriel Shapiro. Cornell University Press, 2003. 161-71(pdf)

 “The Gender Dynamics of the Infanticide Prevention Campaign in Eighteenth-Century England and Richardson’s History of Sir Charles Grandison,” Writing English Infanticide: Child-Murder, Gender, and Print, 1722-1859. Ed.Jennifer Thorn. Newark: The University of Delaware Press, 2003. 145-171 (pdf)

 “Eighteenth-Century Print Culture and the ‘Truth’ of Fictional Narrative,” Philosophy and Literature, 25.2 (2001): 215-232 (pdf)

“Rhetoric, Cognition, and Ideology in Anna Laetitia Barbauld’s 1781 Hymns in Prose for Children,” Poetics Today, 23.1 (2001): 231- 259 (pdf)

“The Politics of Eschatological Prophesy and Dryden’s 1700 The Secular Masque.” The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, vol. 41.3 (2000): 119-137 (pdf)

 “Nabokov’s ‘On Discovering a Butterfly’ and Pushkin’s ‘Exegi monumentum,’” The Nabokovian (2000): 38-42

“Alexander Pope’s The Rape of the Lock and VladimirNabokov’s Pale Fire”, Nabokov at the Limits: Redrawing Critical Boundaries. New York: Garland Publishing, 1999. 161-82 (pdf)



External Links:


Suzanne Keen's advice on applying to graduate schools

Alan Richardson's notes on proposing and giving conference papers

John Richetti reads Pope and Swift on PennSound

The Yale-Haskins Teagle Collegium



Виктория Райхер

Татьяна Толстая

Slava S.

Алекс Экслер

Enter your link blue username.
Enter your link blue password.
Secure Login

This login is SSL protected