Keen Publishes Chapter on Nineteenth-Century Psychology
Dean of Faculty Suzanne Keen has published a chapter, "British Psychology in the Nineteenth Century," in The Routledge Companion to Victorian Literature (2019), edited by Dennis Denisoff and Talia Schaffer. In it, Keen considers contributors to the emergent discipline prior to Freud, focusing on Victorian psychology as the Victorians knew it. She indicates points of contact with Victorian literature and the missed connections generated by literary Victorian studies' traditional focus on madness, mesmerism, phrenology, and sexuality.
Keen argues that recovery of important figures all but forgotten by literary studies helps scholars of Victorian literature better understand the complexity of psychology's interpenetration of the imaginative writing of the period.
The chapter explores contexts that Keen drew upon in writing a previous book, Thomas Hardy's Brains: Psychology, Neurology, and Hardy's Imagination (2014), in which she demonstrated Hardy's up-to-date knowledge of the psychology of his day.