~ Editor: Gregory F. Tague, Ph.D.
~ Divya Bhatnagar, Ph.D. (Literature), Independent Researcher and Communication Skills Trainer Consultant. Prior to this Dr. Bhatnagar has rendered her services as Dean (Planning and Talent Development) and Associate Professor (English and Communicative Skills) at Shrinathji Institute of Technology & Engineering, Nathdwara, (Rajasthan Technical University), as Assistant Professor at St. Francis Xavier’s Society College of Engineering, Mumbai, and as an Academician at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, India. Her Ph.D. thesis (2008) focuses on “A study of victim consciousness in the novels of Toni Morrison” (from The Bluest Eye to Love). She received her M.A. degree in English Literature from Mohan Lal Sukhadia University, Udaipur, India. She has published papers at the national and international level. Her research area includes: Communicative English for engineers and management professionals, Afro-American studies, Consciousness studies, and Technical Literary writing.
~ Kristy Biolsi, Ph.D. (Psychology), St. Francis College. Dr. Kristy Biolsi (Ph.D. University of California, Santa Cruz) is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at St. Francis College (SFC). She received her B.S. in Psychobiology from Long Island University, Southampton College in 2001 where she focused her senior thesis on animal behavior. In 2007 she received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). Though enrolled in the Cognitive Psychology program, Dr. Biolsi’s research was conducted through the Institute of Marine Sciences at Long Marine Laboratory at UCSC. Her research focus was on marine mammal cognition and while at Long Marine Lab she worked specifically with the Pinniped Cognition and Sensory Systems Lab (PCSL). She conducted research on various problem solving tasks with a sea lion subject and assisted with various studies on vocal learning and auditory processing in sea lions, seals, and walruses. Her research interests are in comparative cognition, focusing on marine mammals, and in particular investigations of concept formation, categorization, and perception. She has an association with the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead NY where she is expanding upon her previous research findings with seals and sea lions and is conducting field observations to investigate the wild seal population in the New York City and Western Long Island areas. Dr. Biolsi is also a co-moderator of the SFC Psychology Club and SFC Chapter of the Psi Chi International Honors Society in Psychology.
~ Alison Dell, Ph.D. (Cell and Molecular Biology, Neuroscience, Visual Arts), St. Francis College. Alison received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 2013. Her doctoral work examined cell signaling events in developing neurons as their axons navigate towards their synaptic partners. She continues this research as Assistant Professor of Biology at St. Francis College and through research appointments in Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania (Associate) and the Albert Einstein School of Medicine (Visiting Assistant Professor). Her research interests include cell signaling in neural and cardiac development, as well as the impact of common environmental toxins on these processes. Alison is also a visual artist – interested in the forms, patterns and structures inherent in biological systems, as well making work that inquires broadly about the sensory modalities (visual and proprioceptive) she studies in lab. She is very pleased to further engage with science and art as member of the ASEBL editorial team.
~ Tom Dolack, Ph.D. (Literature), University of Pennsylvania. Tom Dolack received an M.A. in Slavic Languages and Literatures from the University of Virginia (2001) and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Oregon (2007). He is now a Visiting Assistant Professor of Russian at Wheaton College in Norton, MA. His dissertation focused on “literary ventriloquism”—the ability to speak through the words of other authors—in the translations of Ezra Pound, Paul Celan and Osip Mandelstam. His current work focuses on the psychology of imitation as a driving force of literary evolution as well as the origins of symbolic culture. He is particularly concerned with the social and ethical context within which narrative culture emerged and the narrative context in which ethics emerged. He is currently conducting research with undergraduates on shared cognitive predispositions in literary and religious imagery. The working title of his book manuscript is The Orphaned Nightingale: Mandelstam and the Ethical Origins of Intertextuality. His recent publications include work on Modernist poetry, early Russian literature, Pushkin and Dostoevsky.
~ Wendy Galgan, Ph.D. (Literature), St. Francis College. Dr. Wendy Galgan is Associate Professor in the English Department at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, New York, where she teaches composition and literature courses and team-teaches courses on Philosophy and the Moving Image and Philosophy and Science Fiction. Her areas of interest, both professional and personal, include women’s poetry, pop culture, women’s studies and genre literature. She is editor of Assisi: An Online Journal of Arts & Letters which published its third (double) issue in April 2012. Wendy’s poems “You Are Trapped in that Bright Moment Where You Learned Your Doom” and “Nondum Cognita” won First and Third prize, respectively, in The Seacoast Writers Association’s Nineteenth Annual Poetry Contest. Her poetry has appeared in journals such as The AFCU Journal and California Quarterly and her poem “Burning Angels: March 25, 1911” is in the new anthology Villanelles (edited by Annie Finch, Marie-Elizabeth Mali and Patricia Smith). Wendy wrote the “Foreword” to Editions Bibliotekos’s Battle Runes: Writings on War, her essay “Dale Evans: Girlie-Girl with a Six-Gun” appears in Westerns: Paperback Novels and Movies from Hollywood (edited by Paul Varner), and she has forthcoming book chapters on Brooklyn poetry and the television series Saving Grace. Wendy grew up in a small town on the coast of Maine and has lived in New York since 1985. She and her husband spend the academic year in Brooklyn, and summers and school breaks in Maine.
~ Joe Keener, Ph.D. (Literature), Indiana University Kokomo. Dr. Joe Keener is an Associate Professor of English and the Chair of The Humanities Department at Indiana University Kokomo, where he teaches Shakespeare, American Southern literature, and film. He received both his BA and Master’s degree in English from Winthrop University. In 2004, he earned his Ph.D. from The University of Alabama, where he specialized in the connection between Shakespeare and male American Southern authors through the appropriation of ideals of masculinity. This work led to the publication of his book, Shakespeare and Masculinity in Southern Fiction: Faulkner, Simms, Page and Dixon by Palgrave Macmillan in 2008. Dr. Keener’s more recent work explores the intersection of Literary Darwinism and Shakespeare Studies. He has published articles in this field such as, “Romeo and Juliet are Animals: An Interdisciplinary Reading of Shakespeare” in Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal,” “Evolving Hamlet: Brains, Behavior, and the Bard” in Interdisciplinary Literary Studies, and “Othello: The Multi-Level Conflict of the Darwinian Psychomachia” in Consciousness, Literature, and The Arts. Dr. Keener’s scholarship continues to examine the relationship between the works of Shakespeare, Evolutionary Biology, Cognition, and Ethics.
~ Eric Luttrell, Ph.D. (Literature), University of Oregon. Eric Luttrell received his Ph.D. in English, specializing in literary theory and medieval literature, in 2011, from the University of Oregon. He earned his M.A. in Literature from the University of Denver, and dual bachelor degrees in English and Television & Film Production from the University of Louisiana, Monroe. He also studied Norse literature at the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies and screenwriting at UCLA. His current research focuses on unconscious assumptions about individual agency implicit in narratives from diverse religious contexts in Europe during Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages. Other academic interests include the epic and mythic literature of ancient Europe, India, and Mesopotamia, as well as evolutionary psychology, behavioral economics, cognitive linguistics, and the philosophical works of David Hume, Friedrich Nietzsche, Michel Foucault, and Thomas Metzinger. He is committed to integrating the linguistic and cultural theories popular in the humanities with cognitive science, revising each where evidence demands. He has taught courses in fiction, drama, literary theory, rhetoric, and religious studies. He is a member of Oregon’s Institute for Cognitive and Decision Sciences and the International Association for the Cognitive Science of Religion.
~ Kathleen A. Nolan, Ph.D. Science Consultant. (Biology – Science Consultant), St. Francis College. Dr. Nolan holds a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Geology from Northeastern University in Boston. She received a Master’s in Biology from City College and a Ph.D. in Biology from the City University of New York. Dr. Nolan has been teaching biology at St. Francis College for the past 17 years. She especially enjoys teaching about different types of natural selection. She has taught Biological Evolution at St. Francis College. She researches topics as varied as kin selection, the effects of different salinities on horseshoe crab survival, and fish biodiversity. She has been a Visiting Scientist at the American Museum of Natural History.
~ Riza Öztürk, Ph.D. (Literature), Mustafa Kemal University, Turkey. Dr. Rıza Öztürk completed his M.A. and Ph.D. under the supervision and guidance of Professor Christine Kuruç at Hacettepe University, Faculty of Letters, Department of English Language and Literature in Turkey in 1996. His academic studies have focused on an interest in Thomas Hardy, (English) Trench Poetry, and Post Second World War Drama by writers such as Beckett, Pinter and Stoppard. Over the course of the last decade, evolutionary literary theory has moved to the centre of his studies. He is currently lecturing on English Language and Literature at Mustafa Kemal Üniversitesi and is the author of two books: Evolutionary Aesthetics of Human Ethics in Hardy’s Tragic Narratives (2011, Cambridge Scholars P.) and, developed from ideas in his doctoral dissertation, The Origin of Hardy’s Tragic Vision (forthcoming, July 2012, Cambridge Scholars P.).
~ Eric Platt, Ph.D. (History, Literature), St. Francis College. After completing an English and History double major as undergraduate at Spring Arbor University, Dr. Platt attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he studied the history of early modern Europe and the Atlantic World. As a graduate student, Dr. Platt was also a visiting scholar at the University of Warwick in Coventry, England, and a Fulbright Fellow at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He completed his doctoral dissertation, which focused on cultural, intellectual and political interactions between the English and Dutch during the early seventeenth century, in 2010. Dr. Platt is currently an Assistant Professor of History at St. Francis College. His research interests include transnational cultural and intellectual exchanges in early modern Europe, the interaction between religion and politics during the period, and the early history of New York (aka New Netherland). He was recently selected as an inaugural participant in the American Historical Association’s Tuning Project.
~ Michelle Scalise Sugiyama, Ph.D. Advisory Editor. (Evolutionary Psychology, Anthropology, Literature), University of Oregon. Michelle Scalise Sugiyama received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1997. She is currently a Research Associate at the University of Oregon Institute of Cognitive and Decision Sciences, and an affiliate of the University of Oregon Anthropology Department and the UCSB Center for Evolutionary Psychology. Her research examines forager oral tradition in the context of human life history and social learning. She is particularly interested in the ways in which our species’ long evolutionary history as hunter-gatherers has shaped story content. Her teaching is dedicated to the development of an evolution-based humanities curriculum, comprised of courses that integrate the study of human evolution, cognition and behavior with the study of folklore, literature, and art. Her articles have appeared in such journals as Evolution and Human Behavior, Human Nature, Journal of Consciousness Studies, Frontiers in Evolutionary Psychology, and Philosophy and Literature. She has served as consulting or associate editor for Human Nature, Frontiers in Evolutionary Psychology, and The Evolutionary Review.
~ Ajna Müller-Wood, Ph.D. (Literature and Linguistics), Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz, Germany. Dr. Müller-Wood is professor of English Literature and Culture at Johannes Gutenberg-University. In research and teaching she specializes in early modern and twentieth-century and contemporary British literature and culture, areas in which she has published widely (the monographs Angela Carter: Identity Constructed/Deconstructed, 1997 and The Theatre of Civilized Excess: New Perspectives on Jacobean Tragedy, 2007, as well as numerous journal articles and book chapters), and which she increasingly investigates from a cognitive-evolutionary perspective. Recent publications documenting this approach are a contribution to the roundtable discussion “How is Culture Biological?” in the online journal Politics and Culture, co-authored with her husband, the historian John Carter Wood, a special issue of the journal Studies in the Literary Imagination, entitled “Biological Constraints on the Literary Imagination,” co-edited with Katja Mellmann, as well as the article “Shakespeare and the Evolved Pleasures of Revenge” (in Telling Stories/Geschichten erzählen: Literature and Evolution/Literatur und Evolution, eds. Carsten Gansel and Dirk Vanderbeke, 2012). She is currently working on a project on rethinking the processes of literary reception from the perspective of evolutionary psychology and the cognitive sciences. This project also dovetails with her long-standing interest in exploring the interface between literary scholarship and linguistics; she is co-coordinator and supervisor of the Mainz Graduate Research Group Literary Linguistics and co-editor of the open access International Journal of Literary Linguistics.