The Routledge Companion to Literature and Emotion shows how the "affective turn" in the humanities applies to literary studies. Deftly combining the scientific elements with the literary, the book provides a theoretical and topical introduction to reading literature and emotion.

Looking at a variety of formats, including novels, drama, film, graphic fiction, and lyric poetry, the book also includes focus on specific authors such as Shakespeare, Chaucer, Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf, and Viet Thanh Nguyen. The volume introduces the theoretical groundwork, covering such categories as affect theory, affective neuroscience, cognitive science, evolution, and history of emotions. It examines the range of emotions that play a special role in literature, including happiness, fear, aesthetic delight, empathy, and sympathy, as well as aspects of literature (style, narrative voice, and others) that bear on emotional response. Finally, it explores ethical and political concerns that are often intertwined with emotional response, including racism, colonialism, disability, ecology, gender, sexuality, and trauma.

This is a crucial guide to the ways in which new, interdisciplinary understandings of emotion and affect—in fields from neuroscience to social theory—are changing the study of literature and of the ways those new understandings are impacted by work on literature also.

chapter |11 pages

Introduction. Literary Feelings

Understanding Emotions
ByPatrick Colm Hogan, Bradley J. Irish

part 1|108 pages

Theoretical Perspectives

chapter 1|11 pages

Affective Neuroscience

The Symbiosis of Scientific and Literary Knowledge
ByLaura Otis

chapter 2|12 pages

Affect Theory

ByWendy J. Truran

chapter 3|12 pages

Cognitive Linguistics

A Perspective on Emotion in Literature
ByZoltán Kövecses

chapter 4|11 pages

Cognitive Science

Literary Emotions From Appraisal to Embodiment
ByMarco Caracciolo

chapter 5|13 pages


Embodied Simulation and Emotional Engagement With Fictional Characters
ByHannah Wojciehowski, Vittorio Gallese

chapter 6|11 pages

Empirical Approaches to Studying Emotion in Literature

The Case of Gender
ByChantelle Ivanski, Marta M. Maslej, Raymond A. Mar

chapter 7|13 pages


How Evolved Emotions Work in Literary Meaning
ByJoseph Carroll

chapter 8|12 pages

The History of Emotions and Literature

ByAndrew Lynch

chapter 9|11 pages

Philosophy, Literature, and Emotion

ByNoël Carroll

part 2|46 pages

Emotions of Literature

chapter 10|11 pages

Aesthetic Emotions

BySibylle Baumbach

chapter 11|10 pages

Paradoxes of Literary Emotion

Simulation and The Zhào Orphan
ByPatrick Colm Hogan

chapter 12|11 pages

Sympathy and Empathy

ByDerek Matravers

chapter 13|12 pages

Tragedy and Comedy

Emotional Tears and Trust in King Lear and Cymbeline
ByLalita Pandit Hogan

part 3|91 pages

Literature and Emotion in the World

chapter 14|11 pages

Colonialism and Postcolonialism

BySuzanne Keen

chapter 15|12 pages

Disability, “Enslavement,” and Slavery

Affective Historicism and Fletcher and Massinger's A Very Woman
ByDavid Houston Wood

chapter 16|11 pages

Ecology and Emotion

Feeling Narrative Environments
ByAlexa Weik von Mossner

chapter 17|11 pages


The Ethical Gangster
ByBlakey Vermeule

chapter 18|11 pages

Gender, Emotion, Literature

“No Woman's Heart” in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night
ByCora Fox

chapter 19|11 pages

Race and Ethnicity

ByChristopher González

chapter 20|11 pages


ByTiffany Diana Ball

chapter 21|11 pages

Trauma and its Future

Revisiting Aesthetic Debates About Trauma
ByE. Ann Kaplan

part 4|81 pages

Elements of Literary Structure and Experience

chapter 22|11 pages


Cognitive Patterns and Individual Creativity
ByCristóbal Pagán Cánovas

chapter 23|11 pages

Character and Emotion in Fiction

ByKeith Oatley

chapter 24|11 pages

Language, Style, and Texture

ByPeter Stockwell

chapter 25|11 pages

Narrative and Plot

Unreliable Feelings and the Risks of Surprise
ByVera Tobin

chapter 26|12 pages


ByRichard J. Gerrig

chapter 27|11 pages

Social Reception

ByBradley J. Irish

chapter 28|12 pages


Particular Causes and Universal Genres
ByPatrick Colm Hogan

part 5|65 pages

Modes of Literature

chapter 29|11 pages


Shakespearean Apostrophe and the History of Emotions
ByGail Kern Paster

chapter 30|12 pages


The Affective Specificity of Audiovisual Media
ByJens Eder

chapter 31|17 pages

Graphic Fiction

BIPOC Teen Comics
ByFrederick Luis Aldama

chapter 32|12 pages


ByJohn Brenkman

chapter 33|11 pages

Prose Fiction

ByBartosz Stopel

part 6|71 pages

Literary Examples

chapter 34|12 pages

Geoffrey Chaucer

Reading with Feeling
ByStephanie Downes

chapter 35|12 pages

William Shakespeare

Anxieties About Trust in The Tempest
ByLalita Pandit Hogan

chapter 36|12 pages

Jane Austen and the Emotion of Love

ByKeith Oatley

chapter 38|11 pages

Helon Habila

Structural Helplessness and the Quest for Hope in Oil on Water
ByDonald R. Wehrs

chapter 39|11 pages

Viet Thanh Nguyen

Navigating Anger and Empathy in The Sympathizer
BySue J. Kim