Hall Center For The Humanities


On the Origin of Stories: Evolution, Cognition, and Fiction, by Brian Boy
Brian Boyd
Distinguished Professor in the Department of English at the University of Auckland, New Zealand

"Can Evolution Explain the Arts?"
The Commons – (Idea Cafe)

Thu., Mar. 31, 2011, 1:00pm - 2:30pm
RSVP is required to Emily Ryan at thecommons@ku.edu. Lunch provided.
Location: The Commons, Spooner Hall

The arguments in Brian Boyd's latest book, On the Origin of Stories (2009), will serve to kick off a new program at The Commons, the Idea Café. What triggers our emotional engagement with stories? What patterns facilitate our responses? The need to hold an audience's attention is the fundamental problem facing all storytellers, Boyd argues, and enduring artists are those that arrive at solutions that appeal to cognitive universals. Brian Boyd is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of English at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and is a foremost authority on the writer Vladimir Nabokov.

Idea Café at The Commons features one speaker making a short, 15-minute presentation on a provocative idea, structured to elicit a dialogue among audience members. The Idea Café is not a question and answer session. It is an opportunity for active participation of the university community-faculty, students, staff, and members of the public-in a discussion that challenges common assumptions about the relationship among the humanities, science, and art. Participants should come prepared to listen, reflect,

and most importantly, engage in the dialogue. This event is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided, but RSVP is required no later than March 25 to Emily Ryan at thecommons@ku.edu. Space is limited.

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