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Grant number like: FA-52905-07

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Adela Norah Pinch
Regents of the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1382)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2007 – 8/31/2008

19th-Century British Literature and the Problem of Thinking About Others

My book explains why nineteenth-century British writers moralized about the act of thinking about another person, and why they were both attracted to and repulsed by the idea of purely mental relations between persons. Drawing on the novels of George Eliot, the poetry of George Meredith and others, and the philosophical writings of James Frederick Ferrier and others, the book explores how ambivalence about thinking took shape through specific literary forms and practices: omniscient narration, free indirect discourse, apostrophe, poetic meter. I show how the era’s distinctive innovations in literary form both influenced and were influenced by its philosophical and psychological understandings of the act of thinking about another.