Suzanne Keen

Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Suzanne Keen recently published an article, "Empathic Inaccuracy in Narrative Fiction," in the philosophy journal Topoi. This essay extends her earlier theorizing about narrative empathy by grappling with the problem of empathic inaccuracy as a phenomenon of fiction reading, recognizing its defining quality of errancy or idiosyncrasy in divergent emotional reactions to fiction, without veering into normative prescriptivism supporting judgments of either authors or readers.

In it she investigates the phenomenon of empathic inaccuracy as an undeniable though hardly universal impact of narrative fictional texts, arguing that literary education often masks a tacit prescriptivism under its cultivation of critical tact. The essay is available online;  it will appear in print in a special issue of Topoi on Empathy, Fiction, and Imagination, edited by Susanne Schmetkamp and Ingrid Vendrell Ferran.

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