Faculty Bookshelf: Patrick Hogan

Books by Patrick Hogan

Personal Identity and Literature (Routledge, 2019)In Personal Identity and Literature, Patrick Hogan examines what makes an individual a particular, unique self. He draws on cognitive and affective science as well as literary works—from Walt Whitman and Frederick Douglass to Dorothy Richardson, Alice Munro, and J. M. Coetzee. His scholarly analyses are also intertwined with more personal reflections, on for example his mother’s memory loss. The result is a work that examines a complex topic by drawing on a unique range of resources, from empirical psychology and philosophy to novels, films, and biographical experiences. The book provides a clear, systematic account of personal identity that is theoretically strong, but also unique and engaging.

Sexual Identities: A Cognitive Literary Study (Oxford University Press, 2018)

Cognitive cultural theorists have rarely taken up sex, sexuality, or gender identity. When they have done so, they have often stressed the evolutionary sources of gender differences. In Sexual Identities, Patrick Colm Hogan extends his pioneering work on identity to examine the complexities of sex, the diversity of sexuality, and the limited scope of gender.

Drawing from a diverse body of literary works, Hogan illustrates a rarely drawn distinction between practical identity (the patterns in what one does, thinks, and feels) and categorical identity (how one labels oneself or is categorized by society). Building on this distinction, he offers a nuanced reformulation of the idea of social construction, distinguishing ideology, situational determination, shallow socialization, and deep socialization. He argues for a meticulous skepticism about gender differences and a view of sexuality as evolved but also contingent and highly variable. The variability of sexuality and the near absence of gender fixity–and the imperfect alignment of practical and categorical identities in both cases—give rise to the social practices that Judith Butler refers to as “regulatory regimes.” Hogan goes on to explore the cognitive and affective operation of such regimes. Ultimately, Sexual Identities turns to sex and the question of how to understand transgendering in a way that respects the dignity of transgender people, without reverting to gender essentialism.

Book cover Literature and Emotion

Literature and Emotion (Routledge, 2018)

Literature and Emotion not only provides a defining overview of the field but also engages with emerging trends. Answering key questions such as ‘What is emotion?’ and ‘Why emotion and literature today?,’ Patrick Colm Hogan presents a clear and accessible introduction to this exciting topic. Readers should come away from the book with a systematic understanding of recent research on and theorization of emotion, knowledge of the way affective science has impacted literary study, and a sense of how to apply that understanding and knowledge to literary works.


Beauty and Sublimity: A Cognitive Aesthetics of Literature and the Arts (Cambridge University Press, 2016)

Recent decades have witnessed an explosion in neuroscientific and related research on aesthetic response. Hogan integrates this research with insights from philosophical aesthetics to propose new answers to longstanding questions about beauty and sublimity. He begins by distinguishing what we respond to as beautiful from what we count socially as beautiful, and goes on to examine the former in terms of information processing (specifically, prototype approximation and non-habitual pattern recognition) and emotional involvement (especially of the endogenous reward and attachment systems). Hogan examines such issues as how universal principles of aesthetic response may be reconciled with individual idiosyncrasy, how it is possible to argue rationally over aesthetic response, and what role personal beauty and sublimity might play in the definition of art. The book considers works by Woolf, Shakespeare, Beethoven, Matisse, and Kiran Rao, among others.


Imagining Kashmir: Emplotment and Colonialism (University of Nebraska Press, 2016)

During the 1947 partition of the Indian subcontinent, Kashmir—a Muslim-majority area ruled by a Hindu maharaja—became a hotly disputed territory. Divided between India and Pakistan, the region has been the focus of international wars and the theater of political and military struggles for self-determination. The result has been great human suffering within the state, with political implications extending globally. Imagining Kashmir examines cinematic and literary imaginings of the Kashmir region’s conflicts and diverse citizenship, analyzing a wide range of narratives from writers and directors such as Salman Rushdie, Bharat Wakhlu, Mani Ratnam, and Mirza Waheed in conjunction with research in psychology, cognitive science, and social neuroscience. In this innovative study, Patrick Colm Hogan’s historical and cultural analysis of Kashmir advances theories of narrative, colonialism, and their corresponding ideologies in relation to the cognitive and affective operations of identity. Hogan considers how narrative organizes people’s understanding of, and emotions about, real political situations and the ways in which such situations in turn influence cultural narratives, not only in Kashmir but around the world.


Ulysses and the Poetics of Cognition (Routledge, 2014)

Given Ulysses’ perhaps unparalleled attention to the operations of the human mind, it is unsurprising that critics have explored the work’s psychology. Nonetheless, there has been very little research that draws on recent cognitive science to examine thought and emotion in this novel. Hogan sets out to expand our understanding of Ulysses, as well as our theoretical comprehension of narrative—and even our views of human cognition. He revises the main narratological accounts of the novel, clarifying the complex nature of narration and style. He extends his cognitive study to encompass the anti-colonial and gender concerns that are so obviously important to Joyce’s work. Finally, through a combination of broad overviews and detailed textual analyses, Hogan seeks to make this notoriously difficult book more accessible to non-specialists.

The Death of the Goddess: A Poem in Twelve Cantos (2Leaf Press, 2014)

The Death of the Goddess is an epic, narrative poem that is a moving account of affection, personal loss, and grief. Inspired by Buddhism, Indic thought and Hogan’s reading of the Bhagavad Gita, the central figures are two lovers who refuse to accept unjust social hierarchies and suffer separation and death for that choice. In this groundbreaking narrative, Patrick Colm Hogan sets out to re-synthesize ancient Indian philosophy and myth, with a beauty and literary feeling (called “rasa” in Sanskrit) that are the central aspects of this poem. The Death of the Goddess is richly metaphorical and written in an innovative form where Hogan makes liberal use of the musical features of verse—rhyme, assonance, and alliteration—that combines aspects of formal patterning with the unexpectedness of free verse. There are no spare words—each line is crafted with careful accuracy, cutting with a surgeon’s precision. These unifying tie-ins make The Death of the Goddess an excellent literary achievement to be read by serious poetry lovers and students in mythology or epic literature alike.

Conversations on Cognitive Cultural Studies: Literature, Language, and Aesthetics (Ohio State University Press, 2014). Editor, with Frederick Luis Aldama.
In recent years, few areas of research have advanced as rapidly as cognitive science, the study of the human mind and brain. A fundamentally interdisciplinary field, cognitive science has both inspired and been advanced by work in the arts and humanities. In Conversations on Cognitive Cultural Studies: Literature, Language, and Aesthetics, Frederick Luis Aldama and Patrick Colm Hogan, two of the most prominent experts on the intersection of mind, brain, and culture, engage each other in a lively dialogue that sets out the foundations of a cognitive neuroscientific approach to literature. Despite their shared premises, Aldama and Hogan differ—sometimes sharply—on key issues; their discussion therefore presents the reader not with a single doctrine, but with options for consideration—an appropriate result in this dynamic field. With clarity and learning, Aldama and Hogan consider five central topics at the intersection of literature and cognitive science. They begin with the fundamental question of the nature of the self. From here, they turn to language, communication, and thought before moving on to the central issue of the structure and operation of narrative. The book concludes with thought-provoking explorations of aesthetics and politics. Illustrating their arguments with work that ranges from graphic fiction and popular cinema to William Faulkner and Bertolt Brecht, Aldama and Hogan leave the reader with a clear sense of what cognitive cultural studies have already achieved and the significant promise the discipline holds for the future.

How Authors’ Minds Make Stories (Cambridge University Press, 2013)

This book explores how the creations of great authors result from the same operations as our everyday counterfactual and hypothetical imaginations, which cognitive scientists refer to as “simulations.” Drawing on detailed literary analyses as well as recent research in neuroscience and related fields, Patrick Colm Hogan develops a rigorous theory of the principles governing simulation that goes beyond any existing framework. He examines the functions and mechanisms of narrative imagination, with particular attention to the role of theory of mind, and relates this analysis to narrative universals. In the course of this theoretical discussion, Hogan explores works by Austen, Faulkner, Shakespeare, Racine, Brecht, Kafka, and Calvino. He pays particular attention to the principles and parameters defining an author’s narrative idiolect, examining the cognitive and emotional continuities that span an individual author’s body of work.


Narrative Discourse: Authors and Narrators in Literature, Fiction, and Art (Ohio State University Press, 2013)

Patrick Colm Hogan reconsiders fundamental issues of authorship and narration in light of recent research in cognitive and affective science. He begins with a detailed  overview of the components of narrative discourse, both introducing and reworking key principles. Based on recent studies   treating the complexity of human cognition, Hogan presents a new account of implied authorship that solves some notorious problems with that concept.

In subsequent chapters Hogan takes the view that implied authorship is both less unified and more unified than is widely recognized. In connection with this notion, he examines how we can make interpretive sense of the inconsistencies of implied  authors within works and the continuities of implied authors across works. Turning to narrators, he considers some general   principles of readers’ judgments about reliability, emphasizing the emotional element of trust. Following chapters take up the operation of complex forms of narration, including parallel narration, embedded narration, and collective voicing  (“we” narration). In the afterword, Hogan sketches some subtleties at the other end of narrative communication, considering implied readers and narratees. In order to give greater scope to the analyses, Hogan develops case studies from painting and film as well as literature, treating art by Rabindranath Tagore; films by David Lynch, Bimal Roy, and Kabir Khan; and literary works by Mīrābāī, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Margaret Atwood, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, and Joseph Diescho.


Affective Narratology: The Emotional Structure of Stories (University of Nebraska Press, 2011)

Stories engage our emotions. We’ve known this at least since the days of Plato and Aristotle. What this book helps us to understand now is how our own emotions fundamentally organize and orient stories. In light of recent cognitive research and wide reading in different narrative traditions, Patrick Colm Hogan argues that the structure of stories is a systematic product of human emotion systems. Examining the ways in which incidents, events, episodes, plots, and genres are a function of emotional processes, he demonstrates that emotion systems are absolutely crucial for understanding stories.

Hogan also makes a case for the potentially integral role that stories play in the development of our emotional lives. He provides an in-depth account of the function of emotion within story—in widespread genres with romantic, heroic, and sacrificial structures, and more limited genres treating parent/child separation, sexual pursuit, criminality, and revenge—as these appear in a variety of cross-cultural traditions. In the course of the book Hogan develops interpretations of works ranging from Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina to African oral epics, from Sanskrit comedy to Shakespearean tragedy. Integrating the latest research in affective science with narratology, this book provides a powerful explanatory account of narrative organization.


Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Language Sciences (Cambridge University Press, 2011)

Have you lost track of developments in generative linguistics, finding yourself unsure about the distinctive features of Minimalism? Would you like to know more about recent advances in the genetics of language, or about right hemisphere linguistic operation? Has your interest in narrative drawn you to question the relation between stories and grammars? The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Language Sciences addresses these issues, along with hundreds of others. It includes basic entries for those unfamiliar with a given topic and more specific entries for those seeking more specialized knowledge. It incorporates both well-established findings and cutting-edge research and classical approaches and new theoretical innovations. The volume is aimed at readers who have an interest in some aspect of language science but wish to learn more about the broad range of ideas, findings, practices, and prospects that constitute this rapidly expanding field, a field arguably at the center of current research on the human mind and human society.


What Literature Teaches Us About Emotion (Cambridge University Press and Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Studies in Emotion and Social Interaction Series, 2011)

Literature provides us with otherwise unavailable insights into the ways emotions are produced, experienced, and enacted in human social life. It is particularly valuable because it deepens our comprehension of the mutual relations between emotional response and ethical judgment. These are the central claims of Hogan’s study, which carefully examines a range of highly esteemed literary works in the context of current neurobiological, psychological, sociological, and other empirical research. In this work, he explains the value of literary study for a cognitive science of emotion and outlines the emotional organization of the human mind. He explores the emotions of romantic love, grief, mirth, guilt, shame, jealousy, attachment, compassion, and pity – in each case drawing on one work by Shakespeare and one or more works by writers from different historical periods or different cultural backgrounds, such as the eleventh-century Chinese poet Li Ch’ing-Chao and the contemporary Nigerian playwright Wole Soyinka.


Understanding Nationalism: On Narrative, Identity, and Cognitive Science (Ohio State University Press, Theory and Interpretation of Narrative Series, 2009)

From the rise of Nazism to the conflict in Kashmir in 2008, nationalism has been one of the most potent forces in modern history. Yet the motivational power of nationalism is still not well understood. In Understanding Nationalism, Hogan begins with empirical research on the cognitive psychology of group relations to isolate varieties of identification, arguing that other treatments of nationalism confuse distinct types of identity formation. Synthesizing different strands of this research, Hogan articulates a motivational groundwork for nationalist thought and action.

Understanding Nationalism goes on to elaborate a cognitive poetics of national imagination, most importantly, narrative structure. Hogan focuses particularly on three complex narrative prototypes that are prominent in human thought and action cross-culturally and trans-historically. He argues that our ideas and feelings about what nations are and what they should be are fundamentally organized and oriented by these prototypes. He develops this hypothesis through detailed analyses of national writings from Whitman to George W. Bush, from Hitler to Gandhi.

Hogan’s book alters and expands our comprehension of nationalism generally—its cognitive structures, its emotional operations. It deepens our understanding of the particular, important works he analyzes. Finally, it extends our conception of the cognitive scope and political consequence of narrative.


The Mind and Its Stories: Narrative Universals and Human Emotion (Cambridge University Press, 2009) 

Patrick Hogan argues that, to a remarkable degree, the stories people admire in different cultures follow a limited number of patterns determined by cross-culturally constant ideas about emotion. Hogan draws on world literature; experimental research treating emotion and emotion concepts; and methodological principles from contemporary linguistics and philosophy of science. He concludes with a discussion of the relationship between the narrative, emotion concepts, and the biological and social components of emotion.

Understanding Indian Movies: Culture, Cognition, and Cinematic Imagination (University of Texas Press, 2008)

Indian movies are among the most popular in the world. However, despite increased availability and study, these films remain misunderstood and underappreciated in much of the English-speaking world, in part for cultural reasons.

In this book, Patrick Colm Hogan sets out through close analysis and explication of culturally particular information about Indian history, Hindu metaphysics, Islamic spirituality, Sanskrit aesthetics, and other Indian traditions to provide necessary cultural contexts for understanding Indian films. Hogan analyzes eleven important films, using them as the focus to explore the topics of plot, theme, emotion, sound, and visual style in Indian cinema. These films draw on a wide range of South Asian cultural traditions and are representative of the greater whole of Indian cinema. By learning to interpret these examples with the tools Hogan provides, the reader will be able to take these skills and apply them to other Indian films.

But this study is not simply culturalist. Hogan also takes up key principles from cognitive neuroscience to illustrate that all cultures share perceptual, cognitive, and emotional elements that, when properly interpreted, can help to bridge gaps between seemingly disparate societies. Hogan locates the specificity of Indian culture in relation to human universals, and illustrates this cultural-cognitive synthesis through his detailed interpretations of these films. This book will help both scholars and general readers to better understand and appreciate Indian cinema.


On Interpretation: Meaning and Inference in Law, Psychoanalysis, and Literature (University of Georgia Press, 1996). Re-issued 2008 with a new Preface, “Saying What You Mean and Meaning What You Say.”

On Interpretation challenges a number of entrenched assumptions about being and knowing that have long kept theorists debating at cross purposes. Patrick Colm Hogan first sets forth a theory of meaning and interpretation and then develops it in the context of the practices and goals of law, psychoanalysis, and literary criticism. In his preface, Hogan discusses developments in semantics and related fields that have occurred over the decade since the book first appeared.


Cognitive Science, Literature, and the Arts: A Guide for Humanists (Routledge, 2003)

The rise of cognitive science has been one of the most important intellectual developments of recent years, stimulating new approaches to everything from philosophy to film studies. This is an introduction to what cognitive science has to offer the humanities and particularly the study of literature. Hogan suggests how the human brain works and makes us feel in response to literature. He walks the reader through all of the major theories of cognitive science that are important for the humanities in order to understand the production and reception of literature.


Empire and Poetic Voice: Cognitive and Cultural Studies of Literary Tradition and Colonialism  (SUNY Press, 2003) 

Patrick Colm Hogan draws on a broad and detailed knowledge of Indian, African, and European literary cultures to explore the way colonized writers respond to the subtle and contradictory pressures of both metropolitan and indigenous traditions. He examines the work of two influential theorists of identity, Judith Butler and Homi Bhabha, and presents a revised evaluation of the important Nigerian critics, Chinweizu, Jemie, and Madubuike. In the process, he presents a novel theory of literary identity based equally on recent work in cognitive science and culture studies. This theory argues that literary and cultural traditions, like languages, are entirely personal and only appear to be a matter of groups due to our assertions of categorical identity, which are ultimately both false and dangerous.


Rabindranath Tagore: Universality and Tradition (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2003). Editor, with Lalita Pandit.

This collection provides a lucid introduction for those unfamiliar with Tagore’s work, while simultaneously presenting importnat new scholarship and novel interpretation. Rabindranath Tagore is considered the greatest modern writer of India. He is also one of the great social and political figures in modern Indian history. After he received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1913, Tagore’s reputation in the West has been based primarily on his mystical poetry. But beyond poetry, Tagore wrote novels of social realism, treating nationalism, religious intolerance, and violence. He wrote analytic works on social reform, education, and science- even engaging in a brief dialogue with Albert Einstein. Without ignoring religion and mysticism, the essays in this collection concentrate on this other Tagore. They explicate Tagore’s writings in relation to its historical and literary context and, at the same time, draw out those aspects of Tagore’s work that continue to bear on contemporary society.


Culture  of Conformism: Understanding Social Consent (Duke University Press, 2001)

This wide-ranging and informative work draws on cognitive science, psychoanalysis, and social psychology to explore the cultural and psychological components of social consent. Focusing in particular on Americans’ acquiescence to a system that underpays and underrepresents the vast majority of the population, Hogan moves beyond typical studies of this phenomenon by stressing more than its political and economic dimensions. With new insights into particularly insideous forms of consent such as those manifest in racism, sexism, and homophobia, The Culture of Conformism considers the role of emotion as it works in conjunction with belief and with the formation of group identity. Arguing that coercion is far more pervasive in democratic societies than is commonly recognized, Hogan discusses the subtle ways in which economic and social pressures operate to complement the more obviously violent forces of the police and military. Addressing issues of narcissism, self-esteem, and empathy, he also explains the concept of “rational” conformity—that is, the degree to which our social consent is based on self-interest—and explores the cognitive factors that produce and sustain social ideology.


Philosophical  Approaches to the Study of Literature (University Press of Florida, 2001)

Contemporary literary study constantly invokes philosophical concepts and presupposes  familiarity with key thinkers. At the same time it often betrays a limited understanding  of the concepts and thinkers from which it claims authority. Surveying 2,500 years  of philosophically oriented literary theory, Patrick Hogan provides both explication and application of the philosophical  underpinnings of literary study. Beginning with Greek, Arabic, and Sanskrit classics, Hogan explains the philosophical  work that has been crucial to literary theory, moving through Kant and the German  Idealists (Fichte, Schelling, Hegel) and post-Idealists (Nietzsche, Marx), to  phenomenology, hermeneutics, and the recent European schools (Foucaultian historicism,  structuralism, deconstruction, and so on). He also presents the Anglo-American  tradition, from logical positivism to Wittgenstein and the Ordinary Language theorists,  from Chomskyan linguistics to cognitive science and philosophy of science. Beyond the founding principles and general structure of these theories, Hogan  illustrates their practical application and value with interpretive discussions  of Othello and Agha Shahid Ali’s “I Dream It Is Afternoon When I Return to Delhi.”  His straightforward, energetic style brings complex philosophical issues to bear  on literary interpretation in readily accessible language. Reaching well beyond recent continental theorists, Hogan provides a lucid overview  that carefully explicates and applies theories from Aristotle to Derrida and beyond  while radically revising and extending the theory canon as well.


Colonialism and Cultural Identity: Crises of Tradition in the Anglophone Literatures of India, Africa, and the Caribbean (SUNY Press, 2000)

This book examines the diverse responses of colonized people to metropolitan ideas and to indigenous traditions. Going beyond the standard isolation of mimeticism and hybridity–and criticizing Homi Bhabha’s influential treatment of the former–Hogan offers a lucid, usable theoretical structure for analysis of the postcolonial phenomena, with ramifications extending beyond postcolonial literature. Developing this structure in relation to major texts by Derek Walcott, Jean Rhys, Chinua Achebe, Earl Lovelace, Buchi Emecheta, Rabindranath Tagore, and Attia Hosain, Hogan also provides crucial cultural background for understanding these and other works from the same traditions.


Literary India: Comparative Studies in Aesthetics, Colonialism, and Culture (SUNY Press, 1995; and Rawat Publications, 1997). Editor, with Lalita Pandit.

This anthology explores the possibilities of a non-Eurocentric comparative literature. Contributors analyze a variety of material from the Indian literary tradition, examining both its indigenous development and its relations with the West. In doing this, they draw upon and develop ideas from cultural criticism, literary theory, linguistics, and Indology.

The book begins with an examination of Indian and Western views on basic concerns of literary theory and aesthetics: authorship, genre, and literary language. Specific works of Indian literature are discussed, as are the striking similarities between eighth-century Sanskrit romances and Shakespeare’s late plays; the indirect links of Asian folk and popular dramatic traditions with Bertolt Brecht’s epic theater; the oppositional parallelism that marks Kipling’s Kim and Tagore’s Gora; the suggestive variations on the theme of exile in contemporary Indian cinema and Sophocles’ Theban plays. The book ends with a re-consideration of postcolonial theory drawing on both Indian and European sources.


Joyce, Milton, and the Theory of Influence (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, James Joyce Series, 1995)

Hogan examines the complex and conflicted relation of James Joyce’s works—primarily the epic novels Ulysses and Finnegans Wake—to one of the most important and influential epics in English, Milton’s Paradise Lost, and to other Milton works. Though Stephen Dedalus expresses his poetic ambition as “rewriting Paradise Lost,” though he teaches “Lycidas,” and though Milton is amply present in Finnegans Wake, virtually nothing has been written on this important literary relationship. Hogan traces the deep structural affinities that link the writers, arguing that Milton provided a crucial model for Joyce to create his great “works of mourning,” Ulysses and Finnegans Wake.
In addition, Hogan sets the novels in a larger tradition of European and Middle Eastern retellings of the fall of humankind, including eighteenth- and nineteenth-century revisions of Paradise Lost. From this perspective, he analyzes the structure and technique of Ulysses and of Finnegans Wake and interprets key passages in a way that helps make these works comprehensible even to a novice reader. As part of his study Hogan draws on psychoanalysis, cognitive science, Sanskrit aesthetics, and cultural materialism to formulate a theory of influence with implications that reach beyond the study of Joyce and Milton.


The Politics of Interpretation: Ideology, Professionalism, and the Study of Literature (Oxford University Press, 1990)

This interpretive study analyzes the complex politics of literature, criticism, and professionalism. While affirming the profound importance of political analysis—from the ideological critique of literary texts to the social and economic critique of academic institutions—Hogan reassesses the poststructuralist doctrines that underlie much recent work in this area. He presents extended expositions and criticisms of the views of several influential poststructuralist writers, including Jacques Derrida and Luce Irigaray. In keeping with recent “post-poststructuralist” trends in France and elsewhere, Hogan argues for the political necessity of rational inference, and empirical enquiry, guided by ethical, and more specifically Kantian, considerations. In the process, he convincingly formulates a general theory of ideology that recognizes the crucial link between literary politics and the concrete political issues that affect the lives of real men and women in the real world of social and material life. His study concludes with an economic analysis of the institutions of literary study, outlining some anarchist implications for their restructuring.


Criticism and Lacan: Essays and Dialogue on Language, Structure and the Unconscious (University of Georgia Press, 1990). Editor, with Lalita Pandit.

The post-Freudian psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan remains one of the most influential and controversial figures of modern criticism. The aim of this book is to clarify the complex questions Lacan raised and to encourage a productive dialogue that has previously been muffled by the din of controversy.