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“How We Ought to Live: The Meanings and Matters of Life”: A Conversation with Jane Thrailkill and Tyler Curtain

February 11, 2015 @ 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm

“How We Ought to Live: The Meanings and Matters of Life” will serve as the underlying theme for a panel with Jane Thrailkill and Tyler Curtain, in support of our keynote talk by Susan Wolf, whose Meaning in Life and Why It Matters was selected by Princeton University as the pre-read book for all incoming students.  (Her lecture will be at 6:30 pm in Caldwell 105 on Thursday, February 12.)

Lunch will be provided, and registration is kindly required. Registration is quick and easy!



JFT teachingJane F. Thrailkill is Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Term Associate Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill. She teaches American literature, critical theory, and medical humanities in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. Her first book, Affecting Fictions: Mind, Body, and Emotion in American Literary Realism (Harvard UP, 2007), examines the influence of pragmatist philosophy and modern neurology on the nineteenth-century American novel.  Her articles on the intersections of science, philosophy, medicine, and literature have appeared in Neurology and Modernity, English Literary History, Journal of Narrative Theory, American Literature, and Poetics Today. Currently, she is at work on a book project called Intellectual Larking: The Philosophical Significance of Humor in the Writings of Alice, Willing and Henry James. She has recently been selected to be the next Mellon Distinguished Scholar for the Arts@TheCore program through Carolina Performing Arts.


curtaintTyler Curtain is a theorist and philosopher with the Department of English and Comparative Literature. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in theory, as well as courses in science fiction and fantasy. He co-directs Duke’s Center for the Philosophy of Biology. (For more information, see His research interests include theoretical philosophy, philosophy of biology, evolutionary theories of language, linguistics, philosophy of language, and theoretical computer science. Tyler Curtain is the Robert Frost Distinguished Chair of Literature and Associate Director of the Bread Loaf School of English, the graduate school in English at Middlebury College, Vt. A recent essay authored with Duke’s Alex Rosenberg for The New York Times philosophy series “The Stone” will be included in the anthology, “The Stone Reader,” to be published in 2015 by Norton/Liveright.






February 11, 2015
12:15 pm - 1:15 pm
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Katie Fanfani
(919) 843-5640