Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, United States
Brown University, where Suzanne Keen received her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees.
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, United States
Harvard University, where Suzanne Keen received her Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.
(This study of narrative technique in Victorian novels int...)
This study of narrative technique in Victorian novels introduces the concept of "narrative annexes" whereby unexpected characters, impermissible subjects, and plot-changing events enter fictional worlds that otherwise exclude them, challenging Victorian cultural and literary norms. Original readings of novels by Charlotte Brontë, Dickens, Disraeli, Hardy, Kingsley, Trollope, and Wells show these writers negotiating the boundaries of representation to reveal subjects (notably sexuality and social class) that contemporary critics sought to exclude from the realm of the novel.
(Romances of the Archive in Contemporary British Fiction i...)
Romances of the Archive in Contemporary British Fiction is a lively discussion of the debates about the uses of the past contained in British fiction since the Falklands crisis. Drawing on a diverse and original body of work, Suzanne Keen provides a detailed examination of the range of contemporary romances of the archive, a genre in which British novelists both deal with the loss of Empire and a nostalgia for the past, and react to the postimperial condition of Great Britain. Keen identifies the genre and explains its literary sources from Edmund Spenser to H.P. Lovecraft and John LeCarre. She also accounts for the rise in popularity of archival romance and provides a context for understanding the British postimperial preoccupation with history and heritage.
(This handbook concisely introduces narrative form to adva...)
This handbook concisely introduces narrative form to advanced students of fiction. Beginning with a survey of major theorists and approaches and using clearly defined terms, Narrative Form explains critical vocabulary and offers a variety of strategies for analyzing the formal qualities of fiction. Keen suggests that interpretations of form can be effectively integrated with contemporary approaches to literature, including feminist, postcolonial, and cultural studies methodologies. Narrative Form shows how to use the language of formal analysis accurately and innovatively.
(Milk Glass Mermaid presents a world both dangerous and be...)
Milk Glass Mermaid presents a world both dangerous and beautiful, one in which both chronology and topography are unexpectedly undermined by perception. Linked by a series of prose entries, these poems explore moments of domestic life to reveal the larger historical traces that lurk in the most quotidian details.
(Does empathy felt while reading fiction actually cultivat...)
Does empathy felt while reading fiction actually cultivates a sense of connection, leading to altruistic actions on behalf of real others? Empathy and the Novel presents a comprehensive account of the relationships among novel reading, empathy, and altruism. Drawing on psychology, narrative theory, neuroscience, literary history, philosophy, and recent scholarship in discourse processing, Keen brings together resources and challenges for the literary study of empathy and the psychological study of fiction reading.
(The imagery of brains and nerves that Thomas Hardy employ...)
The imagery of brains and nerves that Thomas Hardy employed in over a half-century of writing amply demonstrates that he knew the psychology of his time. Thomas Hardy's Brains: Psychology, Neurology, and Hardy's Imagination reevaluates Hardy's representations of minds, the will, and consciousness (and nescience) in the context of Victorian brain science and Victorian medical neurology. Susanne Keen traces his reading from his early twenties until his old age in sources such as The Literary Notebooks, collections of reading notes made by Hardy from the 1860s onward. In showing how Hardy the reader informed Hardy the novelist and poet, she gives new insight into the unusual techniques Hardy used to represent fictional consciousness in his fiction and shows how the image schemas in his poetry embody his convictions.
Suzanne Keen was educated at Brown University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1984 and a Master of Arts degree in 1986. Then she studied at Harvard University and obtained a Master of Arts degree in 1987 and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1990.
Suzanne Keen, after receiving her doctor's degree, in 1990 began her teaching career as an assistant professor of English at Yale University. Then in 1995, she went to Washington and Lee University, where she began working as an assistant professor and later became Thomas H. Broadus Professor of English. From 2010 till 2012, she served as chair of the English department.
In 2018 Keen joined Hamilton College as dean of faculty and professor of literature and creative writing. Her work draws on novels, narrative theory, neuroscience, developmental and social psychology, and affective science.
Besides teaching, Keen's activity also includes writing. Her first book is Victorian Renovations of the Novel: Narrative Annexes and the Boundaries of Representation. The author draws on the work of Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Charles Kingsley, and Anthony Trollope to show how novelists use narrative detours to revise and extend the borders of representation in Victorian fiction. The volume is a compelling study of nineteenth-century literary forms and the politics of narrative which centralizes the dynamic relationship between prescriptive theories of the novel and the techniques novelists use to incorporate, as well as test, shared ideas about the boundaries of representation. Keen challenges the assumption that cultural prohibitions homogenized the Victorian novel and limited its engagement with social and political debates about gender, class, and nationality.
Since writing her most popular work, Empathy and the Novel (2007), she expanded on her theory of narrative empathy in articles and chapters treating authorial strategic narrative empathy, readers' dispositions, empathetic techniques in graphic narratives, and narrative empathy evoked by nonfiction. Her current work investigates narrative personal distress, aversive response to reading, and empathic inaccuracy. Her most recent book is Thomas Hardy's Brains: Psychology, Neurology, and Hardy's Imagination (2014). Keen also contributes to books by others and periodicals, including Commonweal.
In addition, in 2007, Keen was made a consultant at Round Table Group.
(This study of narrative technique in Victorian novels int...)1998
(Does empathy felt while reading fiction actually cultivat...)2007
(Romances of the Archive in Contemporary British Fiction i...)2001
(The imagery of brains and nerves that Thomas Hardy employ...)2014
(Milk Glass Mermaid presents a world both dangerous and be...)2007
(This handbook concisely introduces narrative form to adva...)2003
Keen considers that novels can help to empathize.
Her favorite books are James Joyce's Ulysses, Lev Grossman's The Magicians, Iris Murdoch's The Philosopher's Pupil, Ian McEwan's Atonement, Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake, Gwyneth Jones' Bold as Love series, Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children, Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, Penelope Fitzgerald's Offshore, Walter Scott's Old Mortality, Jane Austen's Persuasion, and Alice Thomas Ellis's Fairy Tale.
Keen is a member of the Modern Language Association of America, Narrative Society, and Phi Beta Kappa.
Quotes from others about the person
"Suzanne's passion for her students, the faculty, and teaching is evident in everything she does." - William C. Dudley
Suzanne Keen married Francis MacDonnell on June 6, 1992. The marriage produced one son, Jacob Whitcomb.