Suzanne Keen serves as Thomas H. Broadus Professor of English and Dean of the College at Washington and Lee University. During our Summer Seminar 2017 she discussed the debates and challenges of the interdisciplinary research context for literary theories of narrative empathy, including readers’ empathy, authors’ strategic empathizing, and the relationship of empathy for textual creations to prosocial action in the real world.


We also interviewed Prof. Keen and asked her the following questions:

  1. Why should we read literature? Does it make us better people? (at 0.04)
  2. Does reading literature make us more empathic? (at 1.07)
  3. What is the task of the academic study of literature and poetry? (at 2.06)
  4. What do you expect from interdisciplinary work in which the humanities partake? (at 3.57)

Please listen to the interesting answers in the video below:

More info Summer Seminar 2017 “What the Humanities Contribute to the University

We will organize another Summer Seminar in the summer of 2018. Please follow us to stay up to date: